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<My Diary Archive 2011 My Diary Archive>

May
01
- Woke earlier snoozed on then up around 8am . . walked. Grey and overcast with a strong Easterly. Felt pretty damned chilly to me!. . .PCd the day away and pretty much polished off the 'radio monitoring' video from the other day (using some old footage of the rescue helicopter to pad it out and fill the space where I lost a huge chunk of screenshots when the capture software crashed more than once). Not sure it was worth all the bother, but 'may' be of some interest to scanner/aircraft geeks (like me! lol) and 'could' give an idea of why I've found it SO addictive listening-in to such stuff. As these things go, it was a very 'tame' event - but it's a whole different feeling when it's unfolding NOW in front of you. May well have to have another go some time, although it really is a pain to try to capture enough of what's going on to actually be able to 're-tell' the story of the events in a video like that. (Just recording the audio is easy - as long as it's all more or less confined to one frequency like all that was). Too many people just seem to record a random snippet of conversations or some such on their radios and upload that straight to youtube for some reason. Can't see the point in doing that.(Boy - do I wish I'd recorded that nutter on the amateur band singing the Sex Pistols numbers the other night. That WOULD have been a good one for Youtube considering the date and all!) . . just starting a 'proof' watch of the finished video when Sis2 phoned on the mobile - in a bit of a flap!?? She was down town 'near' an injured seagull and wanted phone numbers of rescue organisations. Despite FULLY understanding her distress at seeing such a thing, I suggested that she really should just try to walk away! Never mind the fact that she hadn't yet actually caught it - 'logistically', if she did, what the hell were we gonna do then? Without a car etc, how on earth could we get it to any sort of rescue place - assuming such a place would even consider taking on a 'mere' injured seagull (of which there must of course be SO, SO many!). Having said all of that - I think what I was REALLY fighting against, was the inevitable emotional pain, getting involved in such an incident WILL inevitably cause (us). Reluctantly I said I'd call her back, halted everything I was in the middle of (bet the neighbours heard me swearing loudly - because I DID - MUCH!!!) and started trying to quickly look up phone numbers of rescue organisations. Phoned a local one in Paignton first - but they didn't do call outs and we'd have had to take it to them somehow. They gave me the national number of the RSPCA. Phoned Sis2 back and gave her the number, but expressed my conviction it really was unlikely it'd be worth calling under the circumstances. Sis2 wouldn't be put off and was determined to do something to alleviate the birds suffering and said she WOULD be calling them. I reluctantly suggested I'd race down to join her. . rushed to get my shoes and coat on and quickly stripped the pillowcase off my pillow on the bed and stuffed it in a pocket!! (From experience, assuming we could actually catch it, having something akin to a 'sack' to stuff it into was liable to be most useful.). left disappointed and confused Bella at home and raced off down town, actually attempting to 'jog' as much of the way as I dared - although that turned out to be not much of the way at all. Been chain smoking for too long to do much of that! Genuinely worried about the possibility of having a heart attack on the way! . the 'pirate weekend' appeared to be in full flow as I approached the edge of the harbour area. Loads of people wandering by in pirate costumes! . quickly found Sis2 sat on a seat near a badly injured youngish looking seagull. It's wing appeared to be clearly broken. An open fracture with blood spattered on its feet!! :o( It seemed to be 'relatively' content just hanging around where it was, near a small cave like area in the adjacent rock face. Sis2 had some bread with her and it was more than eager to eat some of it if thrown just beyond arms reach. Sis2 was all ready to have a go at catching it with some big black shawl thing or other she had with her, but I somehow got into 'just get it done' mode and wasn't interested in all that and rather took over, in a very 'Dad' like way apparantly! Knelt on the floor (in much seagull poop!) and encoured it to eat more tossed bread, and gradually mentaly worked myself up into 'coiled spring' mode, waiting for the right moment to strike. Eventually it came and I lunged and succeeded in grabbing hold of it, reasonably cleanly. It gave me some good hard pecks but that was ok. Sis2 helped stuff it head first into my pillowcase and that was pretty much that. Once in the pillowcase (quickly blood stained) it was pretty easy to keep it 'mostly' still and stop it causing possible further damage to itself. Ended up actually putting the whole bundle into a black nylon handbag type affair that Sis2 had, which made it even easier to carry. Sis2 was engaged in phone calls to the RSPCA during which it was agreed we'd be taking it to Mums address for collection. Raced back to Mums as quick as I could with it (risking a heart attack again - REALLY!) and actually left Sis2 behind, because she couldn't keep pace up the hills etc. and because I wasn't prepared to dawdle. Arrived back at Mums in a hell of a state, absolutely soaked with sweat! Made up a safely enclosed space under a worktop in Mums garage and eventually extracted the poor bird from the bag and my pillowcase, and put it in there on the floor. Mum raced to get a container of water for it. As soon as that been put down in front of it, it happily took a good long drink - and even behaved in such a way as to suggest it would have taken a bath if it hadn't been so broken. Under the circumstances, despite being horribly broken, it appeared to be in remarkably 'happy' shape - especially considering what it had just been through and where it now was with a crowd of 'people' all looking in on it. Remarkable. CharacterFULL bird! . Image of an injured seagull in the hand of an RSPCA collection officerafter what seemed like an unbelievably short period of time (surely only fifteen minutes or so?) an RSPCA collection officer had arrived and quickly/skilfully got hold of the seagull from its pen and picked it up, kinda holding it's feet and wings together at the rear so it couldn't flap around AT all. A bit of conversation amongst us all as we all crowded round having a look at the poor thing. Mum made a slight gesticulation, pointing with with her finger at it's damaged right wing at one point, and in the blink of an eye, the seagull stretched out its neck and managed to peck her finger. He got hold of the skin on her finger and would NOT let go! With the help of the collection officer she eventually managed to pry its beak apart. It'd left a bit of a cut which actually ended up bleeding quite a bit - but Mum didn't mind of course. The collection officer said it was a two year old, based on the not yet fully emerged adult plummage. The bird was quickly deposited in the collection officer's van, he gave Sis2 a leaflet, and soon after he was gone and that was sadly that. I suspect Sis2 may end up phoning them some time to see if the bird made it through to be cared for and repaired - but I strongly doubt that would happen (and absolutely refuse to be drawn into the agony of caring that much!!!) . I imagine it MUCH more likely it would have been 'put down' as soon as it reached their sanctuary. Nevertheless - whatever the outcome, I guess it WAS the decent and right thing to do, to attempt to alleviate a creatures suffering like that. I'd sooner be that sort of person rather than one who actively seeks to CAUSE suffering - as so often seems to be the way of (lesser?) people these days! . left Mum with the unenviable task of having a go at cleaning up my bloodstained and soiled pillowcase - because I knew she'd probably succeed whereas I'd probably end up having to bin it! . . returned home to delighted excited Bella and let her have a good sniff of my hands and my seagull-poop covered trousers! Wiped off the excess from my trousers then straight back onto the PC. Finally proof watched and uploaded the radio monitoring video to youtube. . walked with Sis2 . . TVd. . drank a glass of red wine while cooking up four cheese and mayo burgers in buttered bread rolls . ate . .PCd briefly before to bed shortly after midnight.
02 - Up around 8:15am. .oh wow - Osama BinLaden has allegedly been killed by US special forces - in Pakistan. (No suprises that's where he was of course.) Well - that's good news at last - although that'll surely just spark a load more attrocities by his supporters in retaliation now won't it. :o( Madmen all. . PCd just a bit of this. Mum called to ask if I'd seen the news . .watched the radio monitoring video one more time and then walked. A neighbour up the road asked if I'd lost my dog yesterday. He saw me 'running' past. lol Briefly explained about the seagul. He made a 'twisting' (neck breaking) motion with his hands. Yeah - that really 'may' have been the best thing to do. . mentioned it to another dog walker (a lady) later, and she did the very same gesture! Yeah - right - lets see YOU ACTUALLY do that under the circumstances! I bet - NOT! . . returned via the store for a few supplies and couldn't resist a huge platter of going-cheap/off burgers. 12 for just 4!!. . back via Mums for a quick coffee and to pick up my freshly cleaned AND ironed (! I NEVER bother with ironing!) pillowcase. . . TVd the news channel for hours . . cooked and ate three burgers and chips with two pieces of bread and butter followed by a mini bag of maltesers. . PCd a bit more of this. Caught the briefest hint of something going on with the rescue helicopter from Portland, so fired up the Marine Traffic AIS map to see where it was going. Wow - how bizarre is that! It tracked way North - hung a left to Weston-Super-Mare, tracked back past Bristol Airport, clearly detoured to have a look at Stokes Croft just off the centre of Bristol where they've been having recent riots (over a Tesco Express store??), made a bee-line for Frenchay Hospital (all familiar places to me of course), and then back down south on a heading of around 148degrees straight to Bournemouth. All out of my listening range pretty much, but the last snippet I heard seemed to suggest it was just a training flight. Out on 'a jolly' then. Lucky devils. Funny thing was - and I didn't spot it till late, but there was ANOTHER rescue helicopter of apparantly the same type, doing a training flight all around and about the Isle of Wight - from out of Portsmouth I think. They're ALL out having fun today! Lucky lucky devils. . PCd this at length for ages (during which time Bella had raided the bin in the living room and pulled out the empty packet of Maltesers and eventually dumped it in the middle of the living room carpet!!! I'm VERY - NOT used to having to deal with THIS sort of behavior! Dunno how to tackle it! WHAT a nightmare of a dog! EVERY day it's something else all unexpected all of a sudden!!! Actually having said all that, I DO have a matching, brass-effect lid for that bin. . . walked under cloud in the chilly strong breeze. Sat for coffee and cigs. Very quiet . . . TVd/guitarred the evening away . . ate corned beef and mayo sandwiches, crisps and a mum donated iced lemon cake slice . . to bed around 1am. s
03 - Up around 8am, woken by the noise of a JCB filling a skip at a nearby hidden-away house that appears to have been much altered recently . . walked in the very chilly strong north easterly. Sat around for quite a while despite the cold. Quite a swell on the sea with the wind driving it into the bay and onto the rocks around the coast. Apparantly on Sunday afternoon a couple from Dartmouth were plucked to safety by Torbay lifeboatmen after their 32ft yacht Blithe Spirit ran aground off Torquay's Corbyn Head and was later smashed against the rocks. Big crowds of people all assembled to watch and some neat photos were on the local paper website. At some point THIS morning it appeared the local coastguards had spotted a small yacht making for (Torquay) harbour, in danger of having a similar experience in the difficult wind and seas. Coastguards were keeping watch on it nearby, but also the local mobile team ended up appearing on the road above BGdns and all peering out across the bay with their binoculars. Even the all weather lifeboat made to turn out, but before they actually headed out of the harbour the yacht somehow made it safely in and all were stood down. . back home feeling real cold after so long out in not enough layers . . PCd/radiod the hours away, NOT doing all that I should have been yet again. . ALL morning for many hours, some innocent amnateur with a dodgy mic lead somewhere ended up transmitting unawares into the local repeater, blocking it for use by anyone else!! Although very quiet in the background, you could occasionaly hear conversations in the room and even the guy having QSOs on one of the HF bands somewhere. So, SO frustrating not to be able to do anything about it. Early afternoon I DID actually wind the volume up and then start having a tune around HF to see if I could find the guy, but just as I began to do so, somone else with the same idea had actually located him and called out a warning on the frequency he was using. Very soon after, the radio (must have been very warm after all those hours!) was turned off and the repeater was freed up. Couldn't resist going on and making a comment and had the briefest of good natured chats with all those concerned. The guy was very apologetic (and sounded understandably somewhat embarassed) lolol . .ate ham, mayo, cheese and lettuce rolls with crisps, a banana and some chocolate. .lot of banging noise from next door all day, right up until gone 10pm. Sounded as though they'd been lifting a bunch of floorboards or some such. Can't complain (god knows I've made worse noise in the past) but bloody irritating nontheless. No point in trying to nap through that! . . walked, actually all layered up and with hat and gloves on as though it was winter again. Temperature was only around 9C and although the wind had dropped from earlier and turned more southerly, it still felt pretty unpleasant out to me. STILL people walking around in shorts and T shirt!! Felt oh SO tired . . TVd the evening away struggling to stay awake until eventually feeling more awake as it got later . . ate half a buttered ginger cake . . to bed around midnight.
04 - Up around 8am, to the same digger noise as yesterday. . PCd a bit of this and then made the mistake of checking on e-bay auctions. An auction for an MFJ HF external ATU drew my attention. Such an ATU really is THE missing piece of my setup here now. I definitely need one to be able to tune my non-resonant random wire across the HF bands. I've been delaying seeking one out because they are all SO expensive and I don't really know which type would be best to go for. . Gave Bella the opportunity to use the garden (which she dutifully did) and delayed walking for an hour or more, to see out the end of the auction. It ISN'T going 'cheap'. . I wasn't prepared to bid 'too' high (with hindsight I probably should have! It went above my decided maximum before I'd even placed the bid and I just held off.) - and it went to someone else for a 'mere' 102 (+postage). :o( Damn. Waste of time all that was then. Extraordinary the same model MFJ-949E (new) in the US is SO much cheaper. (New on e-bay here for 184.94 inc postage - 101.09 + postage in the states)! . walked real late . . .finally got round to doing the e-mail reply to LBs parents which has been hanging over my head for months!! Outrageous it took me SO long to reply to. I just couldn't bring myself to hand-write a reply. I WAS gonna do one on the PC and print it out, but then the printer played up, so in desperation I ended up searching on-line for a phone number for them and left a message on their ansaphone a while ago suggesting if they could e-mail me I'd have their e-mail address and would reply that way. They DID e-mail me about a week ago - so - no putting it off any longer!! :o(. Ended up being a ridiculous, rambling load of nonsense (and took me all day!) but I sent it anyway. Their original letter was dated 9th Feb!!!!!!!! Taken me THAT long to reply!! Outrageous! :o( . . also sent one via e-bay to the scanner people - who haven't been in contact for getting on for a month now! Officially requested a refund of my 164!! Holding my breath on that. :o(. . ate a tin of sausages in baked beans, two burgers and grated cheese with four pieces of bread and butter . . napped late until the alarm at 7pm. . walked. Sat listening to radios for ages. Not sure, but there appeared to be something of a bit of a propogation lift on - maybe. Couldn't resist giving one station a shout - and blow me if I didn't actually get through to him! Had a QSO on the VX-2 from my usual seat with a 2E0VOV. He was on a high hill somewhere over Dorset way!! Something like 90 miles on a watt and a half from a radio the size of a matchbox! Extraordinary. :o) Immediately after ending the contact the radio suddenly went very weird. Seemed to automatically transfer over to a completely differnt frequency (70cms - 430Mhz!?) and it started flashing a white LED at me!?? God knows what that was about! I need to read the phonebook like manual again!. . . TVd for a few hours. . PCd/radiod . . Eavesdropping a conversation between a couple of UK amateurs (2E0BWK out delivering pizzas! and M6GRO), one of them (M6GRO) mentioned he had a LIVE tracking map on his QRZ.COM page, somehow fed from a GPS on his mobile phone! I know such things are commonly done these days, but I'd never bumped into one before. Ended up spending the next hour or so (how sad am I! lol) listening to him some of the time, and constantly refreshing the map/satellite image and zooming in, watching as he drove around doing his job visiting various locations. Amazing. Just amazing to me how far technology has come and how easy it is for people to do such things these days. Felt obliged to give him a call later, just in case he was still on the radio, to let him know some poor sad guy had been looking over his shoulder for the last hour. lolol Had a brief QSO with him. (Felt obliged like a bit of a party pooper, to gently express my concerns about the potential 'security issues' of what he was doing given his line of work.) Interesting stuff. Makes me feel old and behind the times. . finally to bed after 4am!!
05 - Up real late somewhere close to 9am after only a handful of hours of appalling dream laden half sleep. Don't feel too good. That's today all screwed up then. . walked late again. Stopped by the store on the return and got caught out in a downpour of rain. . accepted a packet for next door from the postman . . drank almost a glass of wine and cooked up a rice, peas, bacon, mushrooms, chicken soup, garlic salt and cheese sauce concoction. It would have had an onion in too, but the onion I bought from the store this morning turned out to be rotten inside and had to be thrown away! Waste of money that was! Grrrr . . ate half the concoction with four pieces of bread and butter. . napped until before 6pm. Woke feeling really rather unwell. .gave next door his packet . . .walked. Felt awful and very fragile. Hard to describe precisely how I was feeling, but it really wasn't good!!!! :o( . despite how ill I felt I carried on down town to go and vote in the mayoral and local council elections and the AV referendum. Left Bella tied outside, walked in and had to go to a specific table based on my road name. Bizarrist thing was - I could NOT remember the address of where I live!!??!!!! If it hadn't been written on the polling letter I'd taken with me, I'd have had to have gone back outside! The experience was all rather scary and worrying. Instant dementia?!!!! (I rather hope it was more to do with lack of sleep - glass of wine earlier - or maybe a bit of bad bacon!). . eventually made my pencil crosses. Couldn't remember which councilor/mayor I'd previously arbitrairly decided I'd vote for, because the voting forms were largely just a list of their names, so I just kinda made it up as I went. I DID vote YES for AV - because I just want to see things get stirred up and something different maybe happen, from the constant flip flop from Tory to Labour and back again every change of government - with these highly paid, 'job for life' type politicians, just getting richer and richer and seemingly less inclined to actually represent the views of their electorate!! . . Frankly - in my experience, on a personal level, and particularly now given my circumstances, it's all irrelevant to me. I'm always screwed-over in some way no matter who gets in. I've 'fallen between all the gaps' - not one of any of them gives a toss for me or my circumstances, or represents my views about pretty much anything. Actually - an awful way to regard the whole process, when people elsewhere in the world (Libya etc) are dying at this very moment, in their fight to have the right to have a vote like this! :o(. . struggled home feeling awful awful awful. Even had to just stop and prop myself against a wall and take a breather along the way!!!!! . . . just sat in front the TV hardly moving for hours. . eventualy felt just a little not so bad and managed to eat a banana, biscuits and bowls of corn flakes while watching Question Time on TV. . to bed around 12:30am. aa
06 - Woke earlier then up around 7am. Still don't feel so good but not as bad as yesterday for sure. . PCd a bit of this . . still no reply from the scanner people. I'm starting to have a REAL bad feeling about this. :o( . . . walked. Ended up walking all through the woods so I guess I feel better. Lovely in the woods. Very blue, white and green. Hazy cloud but very warm and almost sunny. Wearing too much again. . PCd a bit of this while 'monitoring' . . ate the second half of the rice concoction with four pieces of bread and butter and then some chocolate . . napped until around 6pm . . walked in showers of rain. On the way back a big lightning strike hit pretty close to home. Came straight in and disconnected the long-wire coax from the radio just in case! . . thankfully received a reply from the scanner people. "I sent your scanner for repair and investigation to Waters and Stanton service department. I normally hear from ***** there, but haven't had an update for around a week- not since it was booked-in any way. Refund is fine, unless you'd like another scanner in lieu- we have the whole range. Best regards.". . TVd/guitarred the evening away as more distant lightning occasionally flashed outside . . ate cheese, lettuce, mayo, crisps and four pieces of bread and butter followed by chocolate and some toffee popcorn. . to bed around 2am. s
07 - Up around 7:45am. . PCd a bit of this. . the local Echolink gateway was all full of a VK3FTZL station (Australia - but not on QRZ.COM?) running a radio 'fox hunting' event in Victoria!! Sounded like fun, but I'm sure they were unaware they were transmitting into the echolink system and effectively blocking it for everyone else. Funny. Tried a bit of a call intending to let them know, but there was just too much noise on their audio for me to be able to have a decent conversation. Looked up their website and fired in a short good natured message to them just for the hell of it, just to let them know. lolol . . . walked late. Found 2p. . . PCd/radiod. . Mum and Sis2 called in with the paper and food donations etc. for chats and to have a look at a few bits and pieces on the PC. . ate Mum donated pork pies, crisps and chocolate . . napped until waking from a 'crying in my sleep' type dream/nightmare around 5:30pm. . . plenty on the news about the various elections. election. Without going into any detail, all my votes were for nothing. Actually serves to make me feel alienated from the rest of society even further of course. With regard to the 'AV' thing - I can't for the life of me understand why seemingly the whole rest of the country is so happy with and so resoundingly wants to keep the existing voting system!? :o( The only positive I can see in the results, is that at least the local mayor hasn't been re-elected. I'd grown to really, REALLY dislike that 'Bye' guy. I'm sure the new guy won't be any different after a short while. Tis the way of things ain't it. . . walked with Sis2. Got caught out by the weather and walked all the way back in torrential wind and rain. Real unpleasant. Drenched! . . TVd/PCd the evening away, cold and wet as more rain fell. Replied to the scanner people "Sadly, under the confusing circumstances, I'm afraid I WOULD like the refund at your earliest convenience please. In due course, if you can find the time to do so, I WOULD be VERY grateful if you could keep me informed of any findings by '*****' at Waters and Stanton (because I'm still stuck with a 'desk-bound' UBC3500XLT this end! My Uniden USC230-E and Yaesu VX-2, programmed with the same frequencies, STILL continue to work flawlessly portable as they should!!?? I just don't get it!). ". . ate a pastry slice, lettuce and mayo, crisps and chocolate . . to bed around 2am.
08 - Up around 8:15am. . sunny. Headachey. Walked. A big oil tanker was moored up half way across the bay. "Neptune Voyager". Looked impressive in the sun. Much radio activity between it and the local pilots. Looks like it's having a bunch of work done on it - inluding having divers in the water below! Lots of shuttling to and fro by the pilots various boats. Couldn't resist doing a just a little filming, although sadly I can't imagine how I can make anything of it worth sharing. Some interesting zoomed-in shots nonetheless. . . . had a bit of a go at recording some of the pilots radio traffic just in case it could be of interest and of use with some of the video in some way. . mowed both the lawns . vacuumed . . filmed a bit more in the back garden. A robin appears to have nested in one of the hedges, and is constantly to be seen perched on the pergola with bugs in its mouth prior to disappearing deep into the hedge (which I now dare not trim of course!). . guitarred and drank a glass of red wine. Guitarred in the sun in the garden for a bit . gave Bella some wine (only a little - to see if she would) which she happily slurped down . . walked (before 7pm) with the tripod and had a bit of a go at some 'proper' filming of the ship and then a bit of the sunset . . back home getting on for 10pm!! I'd actually left the PC recording the scanner audio whilst I was out, as a test to see if it could cope with such a lengthy audio file etc. It turned out to be mostly quiet on the monitored frequency, but it DID prove it IS possible to record hours of monitoring like that. . . TVd . . ate four garlic slice and mayo rolls, crisps, toffee popcorn and then bowls of sugar puffs. . to bed around 1am. aa
09 - Woke earlier then up around 8am. . the pilots are busy with that ship again already! They all didn't get much sleep! The divers are down. . walked in the breezy sun. . . prodded at the robin in the garden with the camcorder again before PCing this. . actually ended up getting distracted by someone local wanting a radio check on 2mtrs and ended up having a LONG conversation, well into the afternoon!!! Ooops - there goes another day with nothing done!! . . . ate a trio of ham and mayo rolls, crisps and chocolate . . napped late for little more than an hour until the alarm at 7pm . . walked .tu . . PCd and ended up working on bits of Bella video with a view to doing another (overdue) 'update' video. Had a listen to 40mtrs around 11pm and the band was absolutely buzzing. I gather it was the last day of people being able to use their special royal-wedding callsigns, and they all seemed to be on there trying to get their last bunch of contacts before midnight. . PCd through until deep into early. . Oh wow. YAYYYY!!! My 'faulty' scanner money has been refunded into my paypal account. Oh boy WHAT a relief. Well - I think it's fair to say those Proviation people are very decent people with a PROPER customer service. With hindsight I can't fault them - and would probably actually even recommend them to others. Shame they don't do ATUs. If I ever buy myself an aeroplane I'll definitely go to them again for all my needs. !! lol (I bet - I just BET they find nothing wrong with the scanner I returned. I BET!!???????) . . grabbed a couple of bowls of sugar puffs, a mini cheesecake and a little chocolate before to bed after 4am!
10 - Up around 8:30am. .PCd a touch of this while waking over coffee and cigs . .the pilots are still busy servicing the tanker in the bay! . . walked. . . guitarred . . PCd for hours and eventually polished off Bella Video Update #8 . left the PC uploading it to youtube while drinking a glass of red wine and cooking fish fingers and chips. Ate six fish fingers and chips followed by a 'strip' of squares of chocolate . . .now - to bed . . napped poorly (hot and stuffy) until only around 6pm . . walked with Sis2. . TVd/PCd the evening away feeling tired . . ate a banana, bowls of sugar puffs and a mini cheesecake before to bed around 2am.
11 - Up at 8:45am! . .walked . . PCd/monitored/etc. . spent ages messing around with SD memory cards and the slot in the side of the new TV, trying to get it to play MPEG video files. Bloody infuriating. It'll happily play video from the card straight out of the camera, but if I have first transferred the files to the PC and then back onto the card, it wont! Went round in circles formatting cards (in the camera) and doing various experiments, but no matter what I did, if the files have at ANY stage been 'on' the PC hard drive, they simply aren't recognised by the TV once put back onto an SD card formatted by the camera!? The PC hard drive is NTFS - the camera formats the card as FAT32 I think - would THAT account for it I wonder? When it comes to straightforward JPEG images, there isn't ANY such problem!?? Eventually had little choice but to just give up and leave further time-consuming experiments for some other time - or maybe not! :o( . . My credit card is expiring, requiring informing various people of the new card's details. Time consuming pain in the a** that was! Even ended up having to phone one and battle my way through all the usual 'on-hold' and automated nonsense before I could actually just speak to someone and get it all sorted/updated!! . . cooked and ate a couple of slices of bacon, two eggs and a tin of baked beans with grated cheese and four pieces of bread and butter late afternoon . . . napped . . walked. The privately owned 'Western Lady IV' (Sister to the renamed 'Fairmile' ferry) was moored-up just off Battery Gardens. . TVd/guitarred /PCd/monitored the night away . . ate a banana and all the last of the biscuits in the biscuit barrel before finally to bed well after 4am with daylight in the sky! s
12 - Up just after 9am! It's getting later and later and I'm getting less and less done every day that goes by! Image of tanker Neptune Voyager and tug MTS Viscount in TorbayI seem to be pretty much just walking the dog each day and no more at the moment!!! (One hour to 'wake up' - two hours+ out walking/playing ball - an hour to 'recover' from the walk - a couple of hours sleep - and then do it all again at the other end of the day!!). . walked without even having had a coffee or cigs! The 'Neptune Voyager' tanker appears to be fast approaching the finish to all the works its been having done. It successfully tested its engines somewhere around midday and then felt confident enough to dismiss the dutch tug 'MTS Viscount' which has been moored-by in attendance since it arrived. The pilots were also called to come collect a now redundant high pressure water pump they'd been using (to keep themselves afloat perhaps?!!). . . Image of the FairMile ferry and Western Lady IVThe privately owned 'Western Lady IV' (Sister to the renamed 'Fairmile' ferry) was still moored up just off Battery Gardens. In the wrong place at the wrong time again - unfortunately missed out on a neat photo opportunity of them both alongside each other. :o( . .back via the store for a few supplies . . trawled e-bay ads and then PCd a bit of this into the afternoon, oh SO ready for more sleep. . ate a trio of salami and lettuce rolls, a slice of cake and a couple of squares of chocolate. . . napped until around 6pm . . walked . . TVd/guitarred just a little . Watched the (mostly) excellent BBC show about the human body. This episode included film of the last breath of a dying man. Had me in tears. Powerful. Good stuff. . . ate ham sandwiches, two bags of crisps and a kitkat . . PCd before bed and - oh dear, here we go again. Did a 'buy it now' on e-bay for an older style 'mfj-949e Delux versa tuner II' for 87 including postage. Very few seem to go for that 'low' a price (!!!) when the auction is left to run, so it 'seemed' like worth a shot, just to get the issue over and done with for me. So - in what way is THIS e-bay buy gonna go all horribly wrong for me I wonder? Pretty much everything else has hasn't it, so I'm sure this one will too!! If the unexpected happens and it's all ok, that 'should' enable me to tune my balun/random wire to most of the bands I daren't currently go near. Assuming everything keeps working ('just'!) as it currently is (chance'll be a fine thing!) - that really surely HAS to be the last expensive thing I really need for the forseeable future, and will enable me to 'just' concentrate on trying to come up with a better antenna solution. (Having said that, I still can't help myself looking longingly at every scanner that comes up for sale on e-bay - because I'm still SO 'injured' about the deskbound 'faulty' UBC3500XLT scanner thing!) . to bed around 2am.
13 - Up at 9:45am!!!!!!! Good grief - that's the latest I've been up in - well - decades I think!! The cumulative effect of recent ongoing lack of sleep catching up with me. Once upon a time in some distant life, I recall actually happily sleeping-on until around midday after having gone to bed in the early hours like I so often do. Sally would always wake me up for her morning walk - it would appear Bella hasn't learned that trick, and she also seems more than content to pee and poop in the garden as and when required. That 'may' be VERY desireable for when I decide I just can't face doing the two long walks a day thing (in very bad weather or when I'm unwell etc, etc.) . . walked VERY late. Ended up talking at some length to a woman with a german shepherd - and two black eyes!! Some horror tale SHE had to tell about how she got them! Victim of violence (NOT a 'domestic' as I'd imagined, which had seemed likely since it is apparantly so common around these parts!) Ended up briefly walking with her to show her where the nearby holiday camp was, in case getting a chalet there would be cheaper than her current hotel arrangement (while she tries to complete on buying a house down here). Some elements of her tale and circumstances were 'familiar' to me, and not entirely unlike the desperate situation I was in after my 'flight from Bristol'. Good luck - and - goodBYE!!! . . . played ball in the garden for a bit , but ended up getting all concerned about being a disturbance to the nesting robbin and eventually retreated back inside. SUCH a shame I can't actually find or see the nest somewhere deep in the overgrown hedge.It amazes me how the bird can keep goin like it does, back and forth back and forth feeding its young - and also perhaps even more so, how many bugs and caterpillars it can CONSTANTLY keep finding in so short a time. I could just sit and watch it for hours (more). . PCd a bit of this and then had a bit of a local chat on 2mtrs. .hummm. I'm not superstitious, but it suddenly occurs to me, I've bought an ATU off e-bay on Friday the 13th!! That hardly fills me with optimism about a good outcome!! . . ate ham, cheese, mayo and lettuce sandwiches, two bags of crisps and some biscuits . . napped . . walked. Arrived at BGdns just in time to see the 'Neptune Voyager' tanker slipping away out of the bay (under its own steam - and heading for Portland it later transpired). I always find it nice to witness a ship actually leaving, when its been around for a while like that one. lol :o) . . TVd/guitarred . . ate bowls of cornflakes . . PCd until bed around 2am.
14 - Up at 8:30am . PCd and checked on e-bay auctions before walking. Damn - an atu auction I'd been keeping an eye on, actually ended a few pounds cheaper than the one I've just bought on a buy-it-now! These final auction prices really are an unpredictable lottery much of the time!!? . I've also been keeping a watch on a couple of other items for the past couple of days - auctions due to end today. The auctions were for old fashioned 'DTMF tone dialers'. Small playing-card-pack sized, handheld, battery operated tone dialers - the sort of thing that used to be sold years ago when DTMF tones first became the norm and the old fashioned phones couldn't produce them. You could hold the speaker on the back of such little units next to the microphone of your old fashioned phone, and using the little keypad on the front, still access online services that required DTMF tones. Of little use to anyone much these days because technology has moved on SO much, and every new phone simply includes the ability as standard. 'I' was interested in getting hold of one for possible use with the FT-767 radio, for doing IRLP on the repeaters, etc. (Using that free bit of downloaded software to make the tones on the PC, and then try to put the mic near the PC speakers to pic up and send the tones has proven to be a cumbersome pain in the rear. I'm also NOT willing to try to connect the radio to the PC audio output just for that!) No one had yet bid on either of the two I'd been watching - and I suspected it was likely no one would. I put a maximum 3 (inc postage) bid on the first auction (for a 'Tokai TD-200 Portatone DTMF Dialer'), due to end whilst I was out. . . walked . . Soon after leaving the house every morning, Bella has developed the habit of having a pee. She'll just suddenly stop and go without notice. Makes an awful mess of the pavements (together with so many other dogs doing similar) particularly without having had any rain for so long. To spare the 'antisocial' effect on the pavements, I've gotten into the habit of walking her up the road in the gutter for the first fifty metres or less. Stood in the gutter with Bella in mid flow, a neighbour reversed out of his driveway on the opposite side of the road and then unexpectedly carried on reversing, making to park against the kerb on our side of the road. He hadn't seen us stood there! I suddenly realised what was happening and began franticly shouting out for him to stop and tried to haul immoveable mid-flow Bella out of harms way. Nightmare! His car finally came to a halt withing 12 inches of Bella!!!! Jeeze that was SO close!!! He WAS very apologetic. . down in BGdns, looking out across the coves, it appeared that the tide was very much out and really quite low, making it just feasable to scramble across the rocks at the waters edge and short-cut across to Churston Cove. I've only ever done it once before I think - with Sally. Figured I'd give it a go with Bella this morning. With hindsight, I think the last time I did it, the water must have been lower making it easier. This morning I had to literally climb up a good five feet of sheer rock face just to start off. Amazingly without too much encouragement, Bella managed to scramble up. I was very impressed. A short while later, a deep treacherous ravine meant having to leap awkwardly across and down several feet. With hindsight I SHOULD have given up and turned back at this point - it was really too much to ask of Bella - but I didn't, and succeeded in jumping across. Poor Bella on the other side, perhaps thinking she was in danger of being deserted by her leader, but unhappy about having to try to make such a dangerous and difficult leap, started whining and racing back and forth in obvious distress. She couldn't bear the prospect of being parted from me and eventually leapt after me! Thankfully she made it ok. I shouldn't have let her do that. It WAS too much for her. Very impressed by her loyalty to me. Melted my heart a bit did that. :o| . Successfully made the beach and then walked the woods . back via town - I'd read somewhere the coastguard station was having an open day today (complete with a possible rescue helicopter flypast), and given how familiar many of their voices have become on my scanner, I was very interested in the possibility of having a look inside their ops room. There were few people around and it seemed like a very low key affair. The helicopter was apparantly gonna be doing a flypast at midday. Sadly, dogs (of course) were not allowed on the station tour. . didn't want to waste the opportunity, so figured I had just enough time to drop Bella back at home before returning without her to see the flypast and then tour the station. . dropped Bella back at home. Called Mum and cancelled her intended visit later. .Received a big envelope in the post? LBs mother had sent me a full copy of her funeral service etc, in response to the e-mail I'd sent them! Yikes - that'll have to wait. That'll take a bit of working-up to read through it all! :o( . . fired up the PC and scanner and quickly set up a temporary monitoring of both, marine calling channel 16 and coastguard channel 0, and then set the PC recording the audio. Figured with luck, that 'may' record whatever radio comms would be going on if/when the flypast took place - which could maybe be used in some form of video or other, if I managed to bag anything on the camcorder while out. . left disappointed and confused Bella at home, and walked back down town complete with radios, camcorder, tripod, etc. only 'just' managed to get back down there in time to film a little and then catch the helicopter flypast. Boy - WHAT a disappointment THAT was. It literally 'flew past' (pretty high by their standards) - and that was that!! Funny thing was - listening to the comms from the helicopter as I have done now SO many times before, it seemed pretty apparant to me that whoever was on the radio, was having a bit of 'bad' day. Sounded kinda bored and short tempered to me. lol Very disappointing. . wandered over and filmed a little outside the coastguard station before eventually joining the next 'tour'. ANOTHER BIG disappointment - no filming allowed inside! :o( The tour was mostly a powerpoint type presentation before a very brief glimpse at the sharp end - the actual operations/comms room. That bit WAS interesting to see. Funny old world aint it. Those guys job - sat at computer screens, looking at AIS mapping, talking on radios, etc - well - that's kinda what I do for fun! lolol I'd do that for minimum wage if Bella could accompany me! lololol. . spontaneously treated myself to a jumbo sausage and chips to take home. Over 3 for SUCH a small amount!! Won't be doing that again in a hurry. EVERY single takeaway customer at that chip shop has their food served up to them in a big polystyrene container!! WHAT obscene waste just going straight into landfill!! Outrageous. . .PCd. Yayyy - I'd won the DTMF dialer auction for 2.49 including postage. :o) (Bizarrely - the other (similar) dialer I'd been watching, and had even placed a small bid on - a 'Goodmans GTP-1 Tone Dialer' - it later went to one of three bidders for 7.26 including postage! Go figure.). . PCd the footage from earlier and eventually knocked up a lackluster video including the brief bits of helicopter comms the PC had recorded while I was out. Ended the video with just a fade out of one of the three-hourly maritime safety broadcast announcements. Only reason I mention that - I was actually stood behind the guy, in the coastguard station control room, when he was saying and transmitting it. lol WHAT an 'anorak' I've become! . . eventually uploaded the disappointing coastguard flypast video to youtube for what its worth. . . .walked with coffee. A (different?) professional filmer appeared in BGdns again. I suggested he should head for the LOWER rocks to film the sunset. lol . . I entertained myself by filming 'the' robbin on the rangefinder post. I see that little guy hanging around there most days. He often comes pretty close. He's even briefly perched just feet away on the end of the seat I sit on! Couldn't resist filming when he sat on the nearby post, at length, just singing away declaring 'his' territory. Beautiful. . . . PCd and eventually just uploaded a chunk of the robin singing video straight to youtube without any further touches. Kinda just stands on its own that one I think. . . radiod on 40mtrs a bit. The band was buzzing again with some big signals. Actually had the nerve to have a brief chat with an M5STC up in Rotherham!. . ate pate and lettuce sandwices, crisps banana and chocolate . . to bed around 2am.
15 - Up around 8:20am . . walked. Bella appears to have an upset stomach! Much pooping!! :o( . . Back via the store for tobacco and with some K donated meat for Bella. . Ever since I've lived here (and actually I think even before that!!) I've daily passed a house a short distance up the road, with a 'collection' of ladders on top of their garage. (Actually the same house which once had a skip outside, which I got permission to remove a few bits and pieces from, including the small wheeled seat I have in the garage, which I've always sat on when crushing rocks, etc.) Those ladders haven't moved for years and are all covered in mould. EVERY time I walk past (twice a day EVERY day!) I can't help but look at them longingly - especially because one of them is a proper 'roof' ladder. Well - the other day I saw the elderly woman of the house in her garden, and I FINALLY mustered up the courage to ask if they would perhaps be interested in selling them. I suggested they should give it some thought, arrive at a price, and let me know some time when I'm passing. She called out to me as I passed. She let me know they weren't interested in selling them - they were happy to GIVE them away, because otherwise they'd end up in a skip!! I couldn't believe my luck - but it felt awful uncomfortable to me. I did NOT want to become the sort of person that 'takes advantage' of the elderly! I made it clear that they COULD sell them because they WERE worth a fair bit and asked if she was absolutely SURE! She said she was so I said I'd drop of my bag and dog and return shortly. . actually stopped at home and recovered from the walk, and prepared for the upcoming exertion of retrieving and carrying ladders, with coffee and cigs for a bit before leaving Bella and heading back up there via the back lane. Called at their door and met and introduced myself to the old guy of the house for the first time. He seemed not in the best of health and had a bit of difficulty walking. Well would you believe it! He's a radio amateur (G0PTK albeit now no longer on the air)!! I reiterated my concern about how the ladders were worth selling, but he wasn't interested and said he was more than happy for me to have them rather than see them end up on a skip! Felt really rather (greedy) awkward trying to get to grips with what he was actually offering me, but it eventually became apparant that I could have them ALL - even one I hadn't even seen before from down the side of his house!!!! Mixed feelings. It was actually VERY sad to see a guy stripping away a lifes collection of 'stuff' like that, because of increased age and failing health and not being able to 'do stuff' anymore, etc, etc. Made me think of dad quiet a bit (and all his garage of tools and jars of screws etc STILL just sat in his garage, no doubt waiting to be just dumped in a skip some time in the future!) :o( How long (short) before all MY possessions are similarly valued? . Before leaving me to get on with popping up onto his garage roof to retrive them all, he suggested he'd like me to eventually drop a note into them letting me know who I was (I think because he said he had some radio related gear he hadn't yet decided what to do with!). Oooer! . got them all down and stacked all the ladders up in his yard before then starting the nasty bit of having to carry them all back home. A fairly short distance, but not so short when carrying ladders!! Made the mistake of mostly carrying two sections at once! Image of Bella and MANY laddersStrenuous and arm aching, but eventually had them all just dumped out back in a heap next to my garage. (The photo does NOT include the single section 'roof ladder', which I had to put temporarily elsewhere in the garden!) A full inspection of them all, and a sorting out of which section actually goes with which to make a single extending ladder, can wait for some other time. Sadly the hook on the end of the wheeled roof ladder HAS rusted out and will have to be removed - but I have some bolt on wheeled hooks from Dads garage somewhere, so I should be ok with that. I wonder if my greed hasn't overtaken me here. That's more ladders than I know what to do with or have storage space for!! lolol Anyway - when the time is right and I feel up to it, I am now VERY fully equipped to finally have a proper go at getting up onto my roof/chimney stack for the first time. Amazing. VERY grateful for their generosity. Very sad . . .had a coffee and recovered just a little before popping straight up the store for a couple of pricey boxes of after eight mints and a thankyou card. Walked back with Mum and Sis2 who were just on their way down . . chats and watched a bit of video at the PC etc. . ate pork pies, crisps and chocolate. . napped until around 6pm . . walked with Sis2. Briefly dropped the 'thank you' in to the lady ladder donor in passing. Made VERY sure my name, address, phone number, etc were included on the card. lol. Actually, not only because I 'may' have a vested interest in doing so - but also just in case there should be ANY suggestion from ANYBODY (relative of the people?) that I'd somehow taken advantage of them. . . Bella HAS got a VERY upset stomach. Worry, worry! :o( . . TVd . . PCd/radiod for hours acheiving nothing. Every few hours throughout the evening poor Bella needed to use the garden! . . . Under the apparantly worsening circumstances, attempting to go to bed to sleep was out of the question! :o( . . PCd/radiod the night away without sleep!!! After frequent garden visits through the early hours, it was soon morning walk time!
16 - Wasn't sure I should (and certainly didn't feel up to it myself) but eventually decided to walk Bella as usual, after having put some laundry on. Warm and sunny . much pooping along the way!!! . . not far from home, on the return from the store for bread, a car pulled up across the road from me and the driver started attracting my attention - but in a bit of a strange way, actually worrying me rather. Turned out it was nothing to worry about and I SHOULD have recognised him. (The guy from a store I sometimes buy tobacco from.) The last time I bought Golden Virginia tobacco from his store, he had a few specially labelled packs on a bit of a manufacturers special offer, just slightly less than usual, so I'd bought all he had. We had a good natured bit of conversation about how the shop prices were astronomical, and how I can't really afford it, and how I was unusual in not knowing anyone selling cheap duty free, etc etc. He said something about getting some cheaper packs in the near future - and I'd assumed he meant more of the ones on special offer. It would appear I'd completely misunderstood what he meant. He'd actually, completely unconnected with his store, got hold of two boxes of duty free - and there he was offering them to me for 35 per 250g box! (around half the shop prices!) Blimey!! How neat is THAT! Ran back home and grabbed my wallet as he parked and waited outside. Damn damn damn - I didn't have enough cash in the house (unusual to have any at all actually!) to buy it all! Incredibly the guy agreed to let me have it all, give him 30 and let him have the rest of the money some other time (because he now knew where I lived etc). Wow - how unusually trusting is THAT! WHAT a damn decent guy! . . . Despite being SO tired and having suggested I'd see him tomorrow, I eventually decided to just get it over and done with (because I HATE owing someone like that), and ended up walking with Bella to the post office to withdraw some cash and then on round to pay the guy back the 40, with much genuine thanks. . . ate early a trio of mayo, ham, cheese and lettuce rolls, crisps and some chocolate . . napped at 2pm, suprisingly poorly until only around 5:15pm!?? Even in that short a time, Bella needed to poop yet again, and had done so all over the carpet in the conservatory! While I was cleaning up a little as best I could, she went again in the garden!! She's got it really bad, whatever 'it' is!!! In fact, I've never experienced having a dog with such bad diaorrhea! Very worrying. :o(. . Received an e-mail to say that little DTMF keypad thing is in the post. PCd just a little of this. .just before 6pm while PCing this, the neighbour called at the door. They'd received a package for me again earlier in the day. Much bubble wrap. THAT will be the MFJ atu! :o| Left opening it until later - because there's just BOUND to be something 'wrong' about it isn't there! :o/. .walked with Sis2 . . fed Bella ONLY dry 'complete' for her main evening meal, in the hope of making her more 'solid'! . She needed the garden a couple of times throughout the evening!. . TVd a bit before mustering up the courage to face opening the ATU package. It WAS very well packaged in much bubblewrap I'll give the guy that much. Upon opening it, my first impressions were it was pretty mucky and dusty - and it had one of the rubber stick-on feet missing from the underside! Of FAR greater concern was the fact the damn thing was rattling!! Oh no!! OH NO!!!!!!! Something was loose and rattling around inside! :o( Is absolutely EVERYTHING sold on e-bay dodgy in some way - or am I just THE unluckiest person on the planet?? . So - what do I do? Do I send it straight back and request a refund because of a rattling (broken?) something inside - or do I do THE worst thing possible, according to every e-bay seller, and get my screwdrivers out? . I figured I had NO choice but to open it up and see what was rattling before making a final decision. (I even videod the thing rattling, as 'evidence', before I dared to do so!). . Image of inside an MFJ-949E ATUto cut a long story short, the rattle turned out to be a strand of stiff wire, unconnected to anything, loose inside!! As far as I could see, and ESPECIALLY given the cut/clean/solderless nature of the ends of the wire strand, I eventually came to the conclusion that the most likely thing was, it was an offcut and had been accidentally left in there actually during manufacture!!! Nothing appeared to be broken or had become unsoldered. There was no obvious sign of it being a part of anything. During this microscopic examination of the internals, I ALSO found what appeared to be a lump of solder adhering to one of the fins of the 'transmitter' capacitor!!!! Surely THAT shouldn't be there either!! Hmmm? Maybe there IS something to be said for some of the criticisms I've read of MFJ equipment, particularly with regard to their manufacturing/quality control! . I decided to simply remove the erroneous loose bit of wire, left the lump of solder in situ for the time being (because it doesn't actually touch adjacent capacitor fins, and shouldn't really make any difference to anything) and put it all back together to nervously try out. . eventually downloaded the tuner pdf manual and set about familiarising myself with it all. Attached the atu to the radio/antenna and at length, had a bit of a play around with it. Well - as far as I can tell, it DOES appear to work ok (haven't tried powering up the meter lamps yet or actually spoken to anyone). Further more elaborate tests will have to wait for other times. Suffice it to say - I think it's a 'keeper' no matter what other equipment may come and go. . . finally PCd and did my usual saved searches on e-bay keeping an eye on stuff around 2am, prior to intending to shut everything down. Oh NO!!!!! There was an auction with a 'buy-it-now' for a UBC3500XLT scanner - allegedly as-new, complete with a programming lead - and free delivery! for 125. That's a VERY good going rate. Dare I? Dare I - AGAIN??!!!!!!!! It's gonna be a thorn in my flesh for evermore unless I give that model ONE last go - I know it is! It's become a 'thing' for me! I've tried to resist - but it HAS nevertheless! EVERY time I put my old trusty USC230 scanner in my pocket, it needles me and makes me feel 'glum'. :o( . checked bank balances and did calculations - and figured I 'should' be able to sell it on for that much if needs be - and I have a bunch of other stuff I need to sell and make some money back on - and I've 'kinda' just saved some money on tobacco (?!) - and hell, I could maybe sell a ladder! - so I 'should' be able to manage it (especially since I still have 75 of my previously bought one's refund, sat in my paypal account after the ATU purchase). Agonised for ages - and then clicked and bought the bloody thing!!!!! If THAT one acts the same as the other two I've tried, then I'll be utterly convinced it REALLY IS a design flaw, and will have cured my obsession 'thing' about them and won't EVER go near another EVER again - and may even be tempted to get much more serious about publicising the facts of the matter as I've experienced them! . . TVd and ate bowls of corn flakes before finally to bed after 3:30am! Let Bella poop in the garden immediately before bed, covered the floor of the conservatory with newspapers, and left the door into the conservatory open to encourage her to have likely 'accidents' out there.
17 - Woken by Bella once in the night I think. I'm oh SO tired I'm not even sure! Back up around 9am when woken by Bella barking I think. Yay - the postman had delivered the little DTMF keypad package through the letterbox. Well - at least Bella didn't need to poop in the house for the last few hours. She did pretty soon after letting her out into the garden though. :o( . . opened the DTMF keypad (old but as-new, in a box, complete with the instructions) and was a 'little' disapointed to find it didn't have any batteries fitted. MORE disappointing was that it requires TWO little 'AG13' watch-type batteries rather than regular ones which I could exchange for rechargables. That's gonna cost me a bit. :o( . . walked late and headed straight for the local hardware store and succeeded in buying two AG13 cells there, saving me having to walk all over town in search of some. They cost me 3.50! :o( . . played ball and then ended up hanging around for hours filming sail boats. There were HUGE numbers of them all racing on a couple of different courses across the bay. Overcast and actually even felt a single drop of rain or two at on point. . back to PC and test the DTMF keypad, 'IRLP' via the local repeater. It's pretty quiet and has to be held right against the microphone when sending the tones - but it has a nice rubber speaker pad and works fine, so I'm happy with that. MUCH easier than trying to make and send such tones via the PC speakers. Crazy thing is, I'll probably almost never want to use it!? Nevertheless, I'm trapped into wanting to at least be able to do as much as possible with what equipment I have, if I so choose. I may just be a 'listener' more than anything else - but I want to be able to have the choice of doing more than that, if and whenever the mood may take me. . . PCd a bit of this (which is falling further and further behind each day! Can't keep up right now!! Little things happening - but much typing to recount!). . cooked half a ring of black pudding, two slices of bacon, an egg and a tin of sausages in beans and ate with four pieces of bread and butter followed by a little chocolate . . napped at length until around 6:45pm. Slow waking and felt pretty groggy. . walked with Sis2. As we sat on my usual seat after ball play, the scanner picked up a 'pan pan' call. (I actually don't really know what that stands for - I'll have to look it up somewhere - but I know from experience it means something 'interesting' is happening.) It was a 'distress' call from vessel 'Torbay Diver' to Brixham coastguard. They needed assistance. Pretty soon turned out their radio wasn't receiving, so they ended up phoning the coastguard on a mobile phone to give details. Within only ten minutes, the Torbay all weather lifeboat was 'launched on service' to go to their assistance. With nine people on board 'Torbay Diver' had suffered an engine failure and was anchored up over by Meadfoot. Sis2 seems to have really gotten to understand why I find carrying the scanner SO addictive, and despite the chilly breeze and hint of drizzle, seemed as eager as I was to sit in the darkening twilight and await the outcome of the 'rescue'. We sat and watched and listened as the lifeboat raced across the bay, took most of the divers onboard, took the dive boat under tow, and then headed back to ultimately deliver it to the slipway adjacent to the lifeboat station. We finally headed home as the lifeboat and towed dive boat were heading for the slipway to be met by members of the Berry head coastguard team. . fed Bella only dry food again . . TVd . . PCd this - much - at length - for hours until deep into early again. .let Bella out into the garden around 1:45am. She peed but did NOT poop. That's a hopeful sign of improvement . .grabbed a quick banana and let Bella poop in the garden before finally to bed around 4:30pm!! Trouble getting to sleep!??
18 - Up at 9:45am after a dreadful few hours of broken sleep. Woozy and headachey through lack of food and sleep again. My daily 'routine' with Bella is rapidly falling apart all of a sudden!! :o(. . walked absurdly late. Ended up filming just a little more of the yacht racing in the bay. Briefly exchanged a couple of words with one of a group of watching Germans (I think?) and it turns out it's actually the SB3 World Championship whatever that is! . . PCd and blew the whole rest of the day grappling with the video I'd shot over the last couple of days. . ate a trio of tuna and mayo rolls, crisps and a couple of mini apple pies. . napped poorly until around 6:45pm . . walked. Bella's stomach appears to be improved thank goodness. . . PCd straight through non-stop until 3am, still wrestling with the video but absolutely determined to finish it. Why on EARTH do I spend SO much time on such nonsense??!!!! Makes absolutely no sense at all. Not enough hours in the day for such stuff! Anyway - having said all that - I'm 'reasonably' happy with the end result, so have acheived a little 'satisfaction' with it. Uploaded the SB3 yacht racing video to youtube by 3:30am . . surfed and then dropped an e-mail in to the Torbay yacht club and the SB3 racing people to let them know the video exists. . briefly PCd a bit of this - with some considerable difficulty!! I'm SO tired, I can't focus my eyes, glasses or not!! I also really have to eat something before bed! . . made the mistake of not eating and went straight to bed. Could NOT get to sleep!! Bella also suddenly went all barky downstairs at one point for some reason. Poor neighbours! . finally got to sleep around 5am!
19 - Back up at 9am. Sunny. . . walked very late again. . filmed yachts a bit more. WHAT a shame the footage I used from the last couple of days to make that video I've uploaded , wasn't more like today in terms of the bright sunlight. :o( That would have been SO much better. Oh well. That's life. Having said that - along with the better light, came MUCH less wind. For much of the time I was filming, there wasn't enough for them to race and they all ended up just milling about for ages. There was even talk about potentially canceling the day (although the wind eventually picked up a bit so they went for it). They got so bored, they even started much 'banter' on their radios!! VERY NON PC!!!!!! Couldn't help myself trying to capture a little on the camcorder as I filmed. Outrageous stuff!! . . back well after midday to find I'd missed the postman trying to deliver the scanner. I'll have to pick it up from the post office tomorrow - again! . . PCd this mornings video. Not sure I can make anything of it - or if I do, it'd take MANY hours more again. It'd have to be a 'slow' one, because of the lack of wind. lolol . Not sure I dare (or should) do anything with all the 'politically incorrect' radio comms I captured! . . . Recieved a gratifying e-mail reply from the SB3 racing people. "This is great! Magic, thank you for sharing it with us! I will pop it on our website and facebook page! We've got viewers following the event from all over the world! :-) Best wishes and again, many many thanks." That cheered me up - and had me watch it again at least a couple of times! lol:o) . . drank three quarters of a glass of wine and cooked and ate two cheeseburgers with chips . . napped the afternoon away until almost 7pm. . walked late . . had a much needed 'night off' from the PC and radios and just guitarred and TVd instead. . ate late, black pudding and a tin of sausages in baked beans with four pieces of bread and butter. . to bed around 2am. s
20 - Up at 8:45am. Back to overcast. . blimey. My yacht-racing video has had over 300 hits already! I think that's the most hits I've ever had in so short a time! lol I hope some of those got a kick out of it and enjoyed it. THAT's what I put in all that effort for. I don't do them for 'me' so much as for other people. It's the kick I get out of having 'given' it to others kinda. Hard to explain. . walked with a rucsack. Carried on down town and toured a couple of charity shops before going to draw a little cash out of the building society. I wanted to withdraw 50. They refused!!!!!!!!!! Apparantly there is now a >50 minimum withdrawl!!!!!! How outrageous is THAT! What irritating idiocy. Had a rant about how since they've been taken over, their customer service has gone down the toilet - and withdrew 50 and one penny just to be bloody awkward. . picked up my parcel from the post office before buying some flora and milk and then heading straight home . . nervously opened the scanner packet. Well - as described in the advert, it really IS like brand-new, and even has the belt clip, antenna adapter, etc, unopened in the original plastic bags. It's a good buy for the money. . Checked the battery selector switch was correctly set and then fired it up and had a look at the existing systems (as loaded by the previous owner. Once again, whoever had it before me doesn't seem to have made the most of it, or perhaps didn't known what they were really doing with it?). Spent the next several hours meticulously MANUALLY entering frequencies (a 'short' set) and groups into a new system, leaving everything else EXACTLY as it was, in order to be able to FULLY test it WITHOUT having done ANYTHING uniquely 'ME'. i.e. it has NOT been ANYWHERE near my PC or connection cables etc, etc. Apart from just manually adding a new system, it currently remains absolutely as it came. THAT should enable me to be ABSOLUTELY certain about that whole "have 'I' done something to damage it" side of things, when I walk about carrying it, to test if it behaves like the other two or works ok!!! So far so good. If it DOES continue to behave and work ok, that's gonna give me another problem isn't it! Do I then DARE to connect it to my PC to program it up proper? Time will tell!! . . while monitoring stuff, it would appear someone on one of the yachts in the bay doing their final day of racing, dislocated his shoulder and had to be rushed ashore - and someone from one of the ribs took his place for a bit! There's also a dutch naval vessel out 'nearby' somewhere, doing operations - with a submarine!!!!. . ate bowls of cornflakes . . put the new scanner on charge and napped until the alarm at 7pm . walked with coffee and the new scanner for the first time, listening on my 'D' earpiece. Sat around for ages before eventually walking back after 9pm, with the scanner on the whole time. It worked perfectly. So far so good, although I won't really be sure about it for at least a week. I seem to recall one of the others acting fine for a long time once . .TVd . . PCd/monitored radios until early. Had a bit of a prod at some more of the yacht racing video, spending most of my time listening to their radio 'banter' !! . . actually went on-line and surfed 'moths' for a bit! I seem to have developed a serious moth infestation in the house!! I seem to recall always having 'some' appearing from somewhere, every summer ever since I moved in here, but all of a sudden it seems to have got completely out of hand for some reason. It really has become what should be described as an 'infestation' I think. I've had a 'bit' of a look in all my cupboards but can't find anywhere obvious they may be coming from (although I've little doubt that some time in the future, I'll pull out some old clothes to wear and find they are all eaten away to just rags!). It really is MOST unpleasant and irritating to find them fluttering around all over the place - especially when they get between me and the TV of PC screen. Despite my normal 'respect for all life' type attitude, it's reached the point where I have been forced to declare all-out war on them. :o( Whenever I get the chance to 'dispatch' one, I do. It's reached the point where all the white walls throughout the house are now marked with some of their remains!! Seem to spend most of my time 'flailing around' trying to swatt the damn things when I'm sat at the PC or in front the TV!! Trouble with that is, they are SUCH small lightweight things, the air 'pressure wave' of my hands trying to clap them to death, actually pushes them out of the death zone and sees them carry on flying around no matter how franticly I leap about after them! Bella has started to become rather traumatised by my bizarre antics! I am loathed to do it (mostly because of the potential to 'threat' to Bella) but I think I am gonna be forced to get into a bit of chemical warfare here. Gonna have to go buy some fly spray and try to make a serious impact on the problem! :o( . . ate a banana, some cheese, lettuce, crisps and tow pieces of bread and butter before bed around 3:30am.
21 - Up at 8:30am. Sunny. . . walked with the new scanner and sat around for ages as usual . .returned via the local store and bought a 1 something, can of fly-spray for doing battle with the moth infestation! . . tried to get on with chores but ended up on the radio calling CQ - on 10mtrs of all things - using the new ATU to tune my random wire of course. Actually succeeded in having a 'proper' contact with an ON4DHL in Antwerp - although to be honest, 'I' could hardly hear HIM at-all. It was almost a relief to see Mum and Sis2 ariving and be able to use that as an excuse to quickly give up trying to make out what he was saying. As ever - I seem to be able to get out, better than I can recieve. Enjoyable nonetheless - to be the one calling CQ - and actually make the whole thing happen kinda. THATs what I prefer doing - rather than just always be calling someone else already on there. . . . Mum and Sis2 called in with food donations for chats etc. Went on-line on Mums behalf and actually ordered a twin pack of new phones for her from Amazon . . ate pork pies, crisps and chocolate. There was a sad news item on the TV about a man lost overboard from a cruise ship in the channel the other night. :o( With hindsight - I think I actually heard some of the search going-on on the scanner! Heard brief scratchy snippets from the French Cherbourg port-reporting station I can inexplicably receive from here, talking about 'helicopter on standby' etc, etc. . napped until 7pm . TVd Dads Army . . with Bella safely downstairs, I sprayed around liberally with fly spray in all the bedrooms (and cupboards!) before closing the doors and getting out for the walk, hoping the toxic cloud would put paid to at least some of the moths while we were out. Walked with Sis2 and the scanner . . a woman down on holiday from Bristol was in BGdns training her dog again. She had lots of poles set up to provide agility jumps for her dog. Got into a bit of conversation and actually had a bit of a go with Bella. Not a 'huge' success, but considering it was her first time, you could see it wouldn't take Bella much to be VERY good at such a thing. Shame I'm not that sort of person. :o/ . . . just tuned around with the radio for hours. That random wire antenna really is SO deaf! lol . a little rain . . ate some pate, crisps, pastry slice, banana, kipling pies and chocolate before to bed at 3am.
22 - Up at 8:45am. Breezy and sunny. . PCd a bit of this with the scanner on charge for just a while . . walked and sat around for ages monitoring. STILL, so far so good. . PCd . ended up messing around recording as the coastguard helicopter landed at Berry Head!! Damn damn damn. Too far to suddenly race back out on foot in an attempt to film it taking off. Frustrating! If I HAD started walking, I WOULD have missed it anyway, because it soon took off again joining in a coastal search over Torquay way. . spent ages trying to do screen recordings of the AIS as it searched, but the damn software just crashed and crashed EVERY time I tried to record!! I ended up being stubbornly absolutely DETERMINED to make a little video of that shout (because of what it turned out to be) and ended up spending an utterly absurd amount of time, wrestling with what turned out to be corrupted video files,in an ttempt to salvage just something from all the work!!! SO frustrating!!!!!!! I must be mad!!. . wrestled straight through until 9:30pm(!!!!) before finally managing to salvage 'something' of it. Eventually uploaded the 'Alfie' video to youtube for what it's worth . . . walked VERY late - largely in the dark for the first time in a while! . .ate a trio of ham rolls, crisps, soup, banana and a little chocolate. . tvd until bed around 12:30am.
23 - Up around 8:30am. . . walked in the wind . . I'm in SUCH a mess around the place and have LOADS needing attending to, and yet I ended up PCing the whole day away again messing with the remaining yacht racing video I shot on their final day of racing. Just felt like I needed to get that done and dusted so I can forget about it and can get on with other stuff. Very VERY time consuming - but eventually called it quits and finally uploaded SB3 yacht racing video II to Youtube by around 8pm. I've probably 'overdone it' with that one, with all the little bits and pieces of radio comms etc, but it pleased me to do so. 'I' 'get it' even if no-one else does. lolol :o) . . walked after 8:30pm - with the new scanner again of course, although it ran out of batteries pretty soon after setting off because I hadn't charged them during the day after having used them for many hours non-stop earlier. It happily still appears to be functioning as it should with no hint of 'the problem' with the others. . fried and ate two burgers, bacon, four sausages, two eggs with four pieces of bread and butter followed by a little chocolate. . TVd . . to bed just after midnight.
24 - Up around 6:30am for some reason? . . PCd a bunch of this. That dutch warship is still out there within range somewhere (not sure where). Heard it warning off a yacht that had come within a few miles of it, saying it was conducting live-fire torpedo operations with its attendant submarine!!. . walked in the sun. .did the long overdue mountain of dish washing chores. Funny how the mind wanders when doing such things. Ended up feeling increasingly paranoid!!!!!! Couldn't figure out why all of a sudden like that - but it really got hold of me. The reason (I thought) - was 'maybe' that latest yacht racing video I just uploaded. In my innocence and utter crippling naivety, I thought it would be enjoyable and entertaining to include some of the yachters 'banter'. Given the outrageously non-pc nature of most of it (albeit kinda amusing), it was actually difficult to find something which I could include. The least offensive and amusing banter I could find, was all about slagging off the actual boats they were using - in that way that British humour good naturedly does. Well - it suddenly occurred to me that 'may' well have NOT been appreciated by the SB3 people I'd naively sent the link to. I then went on to get all up-tight about the recent radio monitoring videos in general. . Suffice it to say, the feelings of paranoia were suddenly very strong - almost palpable in the atmosphere about me!! That makes me sound like a nut - but I've had similar experiences in the past (at work etc) - and it invariably panned out that the 'feeling' WAS well founded! The prelude to sh*t-'appenin! . . my mood plummeted. Retreated to bed. Should have eaten first but wasn't hungry. Tossed and turned and just lay there for hours before eventually giving up and getting back up. . .ate a load of biscuits . .walked with Sis2 . . ate a trio of ham, cheese, mayo lettuce rolls with crisps followed by a little chocolate . . TVd until bed around 12:30am.
25 - Woke earlier then up around 8am. . . walked in the sun. . did laundry . . radiod briefly before intending to try to get on with loads of stuff which needs sorting, but then Mum called to say her twin pack of new chordless phones from Amazon had been delivered by the post office. (The postman had left them on Mums doorstep (again)!! SO wrong they keep doing that! VERY suprised they didn't need a signature for those.) Popped up with Bella to carefully read through all the instructions and then eventually get both the handsets ready for use and on charge before eventually actually plugging them into the phone line. Sat around in the garden with a coffee chatting for quite a while, waiting for the batteries in both handsets to charge 'just' enough to be able to give them a try. (They recommend leaving them charging for a good 24hrs before use!) . eventually had enough charge to check some settings, set the clock, familiarise myself with how they worked, and add my number to the phone book, etc, etc. Actually quite impressed with them. They're better than mine for sure. Finally made a couple of calls to my own ansaphone just to make sure they were working ok, and then experimented with the intercom function between the two handsets to see what sort of useable range they had. Blimey - that's MUCH better than mine!! The whole of mums property including the gardens was no problem, and I was even able to actually go out the front and cross the road and was STILL very clear and in range. Yeah - really quite impressed with those. Should do mum fine. "BT Studio 4100 DECT Cordless Telephone Twin Pack - Silver/Dark Grey" for 30.79 including postage. Mum insisted on re-paying me 35 - so yet again I make a profit on the deal! :o/ . . got laundry out on the line to dry and did more before eating ham mayo, lettuce and cheese sandwiches with crisps and a little chocolate . . briefly checked in on the PC late afternoon and found to my utter horror, a comment had been posted on the latest (Alfie/dog) radio monitoring video!! "I work for Ofcom the UK regulator. It is a criminal offence to monitor this radio communication between the Coastguard. This listing any similar must be removed to avoid possible prosecution." I'd also been sent a message to my inbox - "WARNING To:telsweb I work for Ofcom, we have been contacted by HM Coastguard complaining about you. It appears that you may be breaching the Wireless Telegraphy Act by publishing radio communications. You are advised to remove any offending postings forthwith. You may contact me at *******@ofcom.org.uk" SH*T!!!!!!! I hadn't expected THAT - but then of course when shit happens (even if expected), it always seems to hit me from some unimagined direction. Resulted in an immediate shakey sick hot panicy feeling! Wow - if I ever needed a 'trigger' for a down mood 'episode', this is it! (Remember - back in the CB days decades ago, I've already had experience of the equivalent of that department. Really ALL powerful - with powers of entry etc, etc! Back then, for illegaly using the CB, - I was prosecuted - got myself a ('criminal') record - fined - had my radio confiscated and destroyed! ANYTHING is possible when THEY get involved!!!!) I think what really got to me the most about that, is why the 'complainent' (presumably someone in the local coastguard station) hadn't simply contacted me and told me to do stop and delete off their own back. I would have of course. But no - they had to immediately escalate things by putting it in the hands of Offcom!! That struck me as being entirely unecessary overkill, and almost even deliberately vindictive! (I can't help it - the image of a puffed-up with his own self-importance 'Captain Mainwairing' keeps entering my mind!!!) . . . ok - it's a fair cop! There IS no defence. :o( I quickly deleted the three latest 'Radio Monitoring' out and out coastguard videos, and then replied - "Yikes . . I suspected I 'may' be doing the wrong thing . . but always kept 'private' information out of it . . and actually thought I was showing the 'coastguard services' in a 'good light'!! Being generally naively law abiding, I guess I have to come clean, throw myself at your mercy and suffer the consequences. :o( The three latest videos entitled 'Radio Monitoring ##' HAVE been deleted. Have you any others specifically in mind which require deletion? I shall of course comply. Your communication stated "It is a criminal offence to monitor this radio communication between the Coastguard." For the record - would you please confirm this is an accurate statement. I would also welcome your comments on how your department now intends to proceed on this matter. I WILL now much worry as a result. I would like to offer my sincere apologies for having caused anyone any offence or distress. That was the furthest from my intentions! I eagerly await your reply.". . felt awful - and sick! . . In only the time it took to put out some more washing on the line, I'd received an almost instant reply! "Please do not worry. I can assure you that we will not take any further action. I will send you some guidance to ensure that you are aware of the law. Thank you for your swift action." Jeeze - oh my god - WHAT a relief!!! I fully imagined I'd be left to stew and worry over that overnight at the very least! I was SO relieved and grateful, I perhaps unwisely replied "I can't tell you what a relief that is . . and so quick too. THANK YOU! I have an admission . . I am a radio amateur (G4WKA) . . and 'should' know pretty damned well what is allowed and not. ( I ALSO have a criminal record if you check your records . . for illegal instalation and use of a radio transmitter way back in the CB days!! THAT was an expensive education I certainly couldn't afford today (in terms of fines and destruction of radio etc!!) I guess I should have known better. There IS one more video very particularly 'coastguard' . . but I (and others) DO value it highly and I am SO loathed to just have to delete it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rK1Jhin_r5E " . . (The 'Blue Moon' video. Gold-dust to me that one!) . . "Before you tell me I must . . if you can find the time to watch it, I hope you will see in it, kinda what I'm about with them. Carefully edited to remove identifying comms, etc. Emotional stuff (particularly in view of the fact that I have spent a lifetime battling depression and 'metaphorically' have been 'sat on the edge' more than once myself, etc, etc.) Once again . . thannk you SO much for your swift 'reassuring' response. That means a great deal to me." . . He quickly said he'd reply tomorrow. . walked with Sis2 just a little earlier than of late, because I really didn't want to bother and just wanted it over and done with so I could hide away back at home again. Cool, overcast and gathering rain clouds on the horizon . . TVd/guitarred/chain smoked the evening away, desperately trying to avoid the inevitable all consuming usual 'dark thoughts' of lack of self-worth and wanting to escape from humanity, etc, etc etc threatening to overwhelm me. . . cooked and ate four sausages with four pieces of bread and butter and a little chocolate . . TVd until bed (partially clothed under just a sheet, because I couldn't be bothered to remake the bed with the clean laundry) around 1:30am. s
26 - Up just after 8am. . .PCd a bit of this. Slow getting going. I just don't want to go 'out there' - I really don't! :o( . . . walked the woods in the drizzle - but ended up more 'going round and round in my head' than in the woods. . . nervously checked e-mails and received the latest predictable Offcom reply. "I have viewed the YouTube posting, clearly this is also in breach of the law (see the information on the below link). http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/enforcement/spectrum-enforcement/guidance I urge you to consider the contents of our website remove, this posting and any similar ones that would be illegal and ensure that you do not put yourself in risk in the future.". . .Turned everything off and tried to just concentrate on reading through it.

-//-unfinished - well - that covers absolutely EVERYTHING doesn't it. In terms of the law and the likelihood of a successful prosecution, it always has been largely a 'bluff' I'm sure - but who could afford to 'call it'.(I suspect it has far more to do with government control of 'free speech' and licence-revenue protection, etc, etc). -//-The outdated absurdity of all that is SURELY obvious to most isn't it? -//- In this day and age - if 'protecting privacy' is the argument - use equipment that MAKES your communication private for gods sake! -//- I've been singled out to be hit with my very own 'superinjunction' haven't I! I shouldn't even let some of what I've typed on here remain! -// unfinished//-

. . with great sadness I promptly deleted the 'Blue Moon' video. That one meant a lot to me. :o( Deleted another I think, before then trying to salvage something of the most recent yacht racing video (which included some of the comms banter etc.). Trouble with this youtube thing, there's really no editing ('proper') any of the videos once their uploaded. If you need to change anything, you just have to delete and re-upload - which of course discards any comments/hits/counts etc, and more importantly, any possible links to them from external sites/elsewhere. I didn't just want to have to bin all that yacht racing footage and deny potentially interested parties the opportunity to see it just for the sake of the audio, and given that it was all so recent and hadn't been much viewed, I figured it WAS worth revisiting to edit out the comms, prior to re-uploading. Raced to edit it down and re-upload it, and had it done by early afternoon. (In my opinion, now a pathetic video without the weather/banter comms 'telling the story'!). . quickly, with some considerable embarassment, I e-mailed the Torbay yacht club and explained their links to the original file would be broken and they would have to reset them to the new one if interested. I did a 'similar' even MORE pointedly apologetic mail to the SB3 people. "
I think I 'may' owe you an apology?!! With hindsight, the 'radio comms banter' I naively and innocently included in the second yacht racing video, may not have been well received. Coincidentally, I have been contacted by 'Offcom' who have pointed out that unauthorised reception of radio communications (as included in the second video) is illegal, and I have been instructed to delete it (and others) from Youtube!!! I have of course followed their 'advice'. Rather than just bin the 'pleasing' footage, I have knocked up a hopefully less controversial version and uploaded that to youtube instead. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dX9M5jZc_Lw My apologies. It is never my intention to cause anyone any distress, offence or inconvenience. Sincerely T.". . . It WAS 'somewhat' gratifying to very quickly recieve a couple of replys along the lines of "Haven't offcom got better things to do?", "You have to laugh that Offcom have contacted you, they are on the ball aren't they! Crikey, I would not have expected that!". Aha - so the SB3 people had NOT been offended by the 'banter' I'd included in the original. So - that WAS all just my own paranoia working overtime!! With the mess I've gotten myself into 'tidied up' somewhat, I finally e-mailed Offcom back:"With much sadness. . . deleted. Guidance information duly noted. I have deleted others and will continue to attempt to identify any more I may currently have up on Youtube. This may take some time since the scanner has been a constant companion in my pocket for some years, whilst filming many other 'valuable' things! I hope I may be forgiven for any oversights and historical minor infringements which 'may' unwittingly remain in the MANY hours of Youtube videos. (Mostly incidental weather forecasts and the like I think?) My sincere apologies for having wasted your time like this. I trust you can pass on my apologies to the original 'complainent' and return them to peace. It is never my intention to cause anyone any distress, offence or inconvenience. Sincerely T." I hope that is pretty much THAT with all this nonsense! The world is returned to being a safe place now 'I' no longer have a couple of videos on youtube. We can all get back to pretending that half the country isn't listening-in to what they shouldn't!
. . headachey/woozy, turned the PC off and retreated back to bed (sheet). . tossed and turned for an hour before managing around an hour of nightmares!? . . walked. Don't really recall the walk because I'm deeply doing an 'episode' number on myself, trapped in my own mental loops of replaying all historical bad stuff and further increasing my overwhelming feelings of lack of self worth and alienation from the rest of humanity etc, etc, etc. All the same old same old. It really does seem overwhelmingly true to me that there isn't a single thing I can do which involves 'engaging with the outside world' (no matter how insignificantly), which doesn't somehow (inexplicably, to naive me) get 'someones' back up, and see me fit for some sort of criticism/attack/threat/abuse, etc, etc. I hardly dare even type my thoughts on that HERE now! I seem to recall the last time I dared type stuff here from within the grip of 'an episode', that too saw me 'criticised' for daring to feel that way!! I tell ya - you should see some of the comments and abuse I've received via Youtube as a result of having posted all the videos. I've learned to casually delete 'most' without it having 'too' much of an impact on my mood. Some I just leave - to kinda bear witness to how right I believe I am in my 'negative' view of humanity. I think I've left a bunch of such comments on that oh SO distressing 'seagull eating a plastic bag' video. All MY fault apparantly! Everything always is somehow. It would appear I just don't seem capable of 'rational judgement' about anything? Under such circumstances, my unavoidable conclusion can ONLY be, to attempt to avoid doing - um - anything/everything!?! Same old same old. Reconfirmed - reinforced. Do loop - ad infinitum. :o| . . . sat in front the TV . . ate a bit of coffee cake . . returned BBs call from earlier. . TVd/aimlessly PCd pawing over stuff until early. . Putting all this recent 'personal' coastguardy nonsense to one side for a moment - there's been much in the press of late, of the government's attempts to cut costs, by re-vamping the coastguard services - including the possibility of shutting down the local coastguard station and centralising much of their work up-country somewhere. Many local people have been up in arms against this and have held demonstrations and done petitions to keep the local station open. (I've even signed one I think, because kinda 'on principle' I think it outta remain!). In all the media furor that has surrounded these plans (which the government appear to have been forced to postpone and review as a result), the main thrust of the argument AGAINST the closures and centralisiation, has been the alleged loss of invaluable 'local knowledge' if the local calls are handled by people far away. Every time the subject is raised, someone somewhere along the line will suggest lives will be put at risk if the local knowledge is lost. I've wrestled with that (after having listened-in to a bit of what they do for the last couple of years) - and frankly I think I just don't buy it. From what I've heard, it is the guys who actually go OUT to the shouts, the guys at the sharp end like the coastguard teams or the lifeboat crews (all unpaid volunteers remember!) that have the much needed local knowledge. I don't recall EVER having heard any evidence of the paid coastguard station staff having brought any uniquely local-knowledge into meaningful use such as to make any difference to the outcome of proceedings. With todays technology - given their job IS office based and radio and computer communications based - I find it real hard to see why the governments position isn't entirely justified. Hell - I can sit on a bench in BGdns and chat with someone anywhere else in the world on my little one and a half watt handie with its foot long antenna! I can Google at the PC and zoom-in on a specific rock crevice on ANY coastline throughout the world. I can monitor worldwide AIS information via the web. Etcetera, etcetera. You see my point? Throw in the backing of some proper government investment in the technical infastructure and appropriate staffing, just imagine what they 'could' be capable of. The coastguard 'callcentre' staff (cause dare I say it - really - that's all they are!!!) really could be ANYWHERE these days (although of course preferably in the same country!!). This view won't endear me to anyone locally! lol Anyway - I've thought long and hard over all that, so figured now was as good a time as any to record the fact. Of course in my current unhappily 'disgruntled' and somewhat bloody-minded mood, I wonder if they have a vested interest in keeping their activities out of the public gaze - and I'd probably now 'celebrate' the closure of the local one! lololol :o| . . to bed after 4am.
27 - Up just before 10:30am! Let Bella straight out into the garden. . . walked real late in the sunny spells. Back via the store for a few supplies. Rashly bought a couple of going off/cheap pork chops. . .Dared to PC a bit of this. I'm still deeply 'in the episode' so arguably shouldn't, but I just need to get this all wrapped up, off my back and done with. I'm tired. I'm just real tired of 'trying' - you know? . . . . . . . . .

I'm just stopping typing for a while - I may be gone some time.

. . . . .

defrosted and ate a mince pie with crisps, a banana and some chocolate . . napped . . walked late . . TVd/guitarred the evening off . . ate bowls of sugar puffs and chocolate before eventually to bed around 2am. s
28 - Up around 8:30am. . .walked . . This years Heritage Festival opening parade and watching crowds was presumably all taking place down town - and the heritage trawlers were all setting sail for their race around the bay. Hid away from it all. Sat around/TVd feeling pissed-off and a TOTALY worthless outcast . . Mum and Sis2 called in . . introduced them to the comedian Stewart Lee and actually all watched the latest episode of his stand-up show on the BBC IPlayer at the PC . . ate pork pies, crisps, mini cheddars and chocolate . . napped (without bothering to set the alarm) through until around 7:30pm . . walked late with Sis2 and eventually headed up onto the green to watch the heritage festival fireworks around 10pm. . Bella WAS understandably a little bit scared, but considering how loud and close they were, she did really well. . TVd . . ate a couple of salami rolls, crisps and chocolate . . PCd/listened to radios a bit. I don't feel capable or 'worthy' of speaking to anyone about anything!!! 'Full circle' - with just a few decades of misery in between. Why on earth WAS I suddenly driven to spend all my money on all this rubbish radio gear?!? . Strange feeling trying to explore what difference it makes to anything NOT doing the website journal any more. I KNOW it makes absolutely NO difference - but after all this time of it 'looking over my shoulder' , it doesn't feel that way!??. Eventually to bed after 2am.
29 - Up around 8:20am . . walked in an occasional hint of drizzle. Some sort of powerboat racing off Torquay. Too distant and gloomy to really appreciate, even with the camcorder's 70x zoom . . . TVd . . . drank a glass of wine and cooked up a couple of pork chops, roast potatoes, stuffing peas and gravy. .guitarred whilst things cooked, and actually drank most of another glass of wine and got as tipsy as I get. . ate half the cooking with a pint of gravy . . napped until around 6:45pm . . walked. Quiet - a 'calm before the storm' type of evening. . pointlessly TVd/PCd/radiod, uninterested in all. . ate a salami and lettuce roll, crisps, mini cheddars, bowls of sugar puffs and some chocolate. . with rain forecast, I put the big pot plant out around 1:15am. Bella promptly pushed her way past me and shot down the garden path barking!!! FFS! . . to bed around 2am. d
30 - Up around 7:20am. So much for the forecast big band of rain! Hardly a drizzle! . . walked. The increasingly desert-like grass hasn't even been wetted by the 'rain' (which we've largely missed yet again, in true Torbay-microclimate style). Every time Bella chases and catches her thrown ball, a big cloud of red dust gets blown into the air and away. . .
shout
messed around for a while trying to knock up some sort of desk-mount for the PC room scanners. I SO need 'something', rather than have them awkwardly just laying around on the ends of their cables! (Proper ones on e-bay are a good 20+!!) Briefly got into conversation about it with next-door, and after searching through all his stuff trying to 'think outside the box' for me, he let me have some scraps of metal, a couple of old numberplates and let me borrow his electric hot air gun. Messed around for a while bending up one of the perspex numberplates, but it pretty soon became apparant it just wasn't gonna do what I wanted. Too lightweight - especially considering the unweildy, inflexible heavy-duty coax I'm using on everything. Pretty soon just couldn't be bothered with any of it. Frankly - I just wasn't in the mood to be putting so much effort into something so utterly, UTTERLY pointless - and pretty much EVERYTHING now feels as though it fits that description with absolutely NO possibility of EVER any change! . called a halt and returned all next door's stuff, with the exception of the one ruined number plate . . .replayed yesterday pretty much, and drank a glass of red wine and then microwaved and reheated the second part of yesterdays cooking and eventually ate it with another pint of gravy. Succesfully napped the rest of the afternoon away as a result. The highlight of my existance - the ONLY thing I REALLY look foward to - falling into the oblivion of sleep. . . brought the still dust covered big pot plant back in. Awkward it's so big. . walked with Sis2 and because she had to post a DVD back into the library letterbox, eventually walked back via town. Some local gospel-singers group were huddled under the old fish-market roof giving a performance in the grey overcast chilly breeze. In time honoured tradition as is always the case with much of the heritage festival events, there were less people watching than performing! All sat and listened for a while in passing. Credit to them and all that, but - err - um - they weren't the best thing to listen to! They need to listen to some (black?) americans and see how it really SHOULD be done and sound . back home just as a little sprinkle of rain briefly fell, not even wetting the ground . . TVd but absolutely nothing on except for one possible program on HD about hidden pyramids, but the HD signal was inexplicably failing, making it largely unwatchable. Actually - I eventually remembered I could switch over onto the Free
sat channel instead, with my new freeview/freesat-all-built-in TV, and the signal on that one was all perfectly ok and watchable - but then it turned out the program was tedious, trivialised and unwatchable anyway (as they ALL seem to be these days!) so I ended up just turning it off in disgust and welcomed the silence! . .listened to the radios for a bit. Weird conditions on 40mtrs. Unusually (for me and my poor 'like a bit of wet string' random wire aerial) the usual noise-base was VERY low - in fact almost non existant - and what signals I could hear (mostly europe) seemed bigger than usual. Wish it was like that more often! . BB called . . TVd a bit more but soon gave up and trimmed my hair/beard etc . . PCd and then touched base with BB again until deep into early . . ate the last of the packet of sugar puffs before finally to bed well after 4am.
d
31 - Up around 8am. I feel oh SO tired and pointless . . walked in the sunny spells and found a 5 note along the way . . pottered in the PC room trying to get on top of the big pile of paperwork and bills which has been sat there unattended-to for a couple of months. Too tired to make any meaningful progress and ended up pretty much just 'tidying up' the pile and getting nothing meaningfull done with it all - again!! . . caved in to my tiredness around midday, and ate a packet of crisps, mini cheddars, chicken and mushroom pastry slice and a piece of cake before laying down to nap. . intermittantly napped through until around 5pm . . PCd a bit of this, just out of now pointless and redundant habit. . .walked with coffee . . . TVd and ate biscuits . . guitarred the evening away. . ate ham sandwiches, crisps and a couple of small kitkats . . to bed around 2am. s
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