About Me

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Cornwall, United Kingdom
A married Cornishman who still doesn't know what he wants to be when he grows up. I currently work for a charity and am trying to expand my horizons. [See bottom of page for Blog Archive and Links.]

What am I doing?

Monday, March 15, 2010

An Encounter with the International Space Station

Another beautiful day today, again almost completely spring-like.  Particularly pleasant behind glass, the breeze that has been so cold of late has warmed a little.
 
I went outside this evening to caqtch a sight of the International Space Station (ISS) as it passed over Cornwall.  There was still light in the ky at 7.09pm and I wondered whether I would be able to see it.  I needn't have worried.  From the West came a golden ember that travelled more than twice as fast as the airliners that pass by going to or from the USA.
 
It was literally a brilliant sight and what made it even more poingnant was the fact tat I have been reading Tweets from one of it's astronauts.  Soichi Nguchi is an astronaut currently onboard the ISS and a very active member of Twitter @astro_soichi. The connection between me in our back garden, on an almost balmy evening, in the last glow of an evening sun and a group of people sailing outside the atmosphere, was something special.  I felt like our cottage was my station and I was on an earthbound spacewalk.
 
I have been getting alerts of an impending flyover of the ISS via Twitter for quite sometime, ( setup instructions at http://twisst.nl ), but kept forgetting at the last minute.  I will definitely making extra effort to get out and watch in future.
 
 

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Fighting the apathy not to post

I just don't know what it is - that hidden creature that saps my energy when I feel the urge to write.  Creeping up on me and dulling the desire or arranging circumstances to ensure that I do not put fingers to keys.
 
My friend Alan tells how the ideas come but fade before he has time to write them up.  For me it's the energy to get the thoughts and ideas typed up.  I can get fired up in the morning and be back  in a state of calm by tea.
 
I started a post 2 days ago and it faded, for familiar reasons - I come home, get the coal fire lit and eat, then start to watch the regular television that I have got into.  Watching programmes on the laptop is fine but I do think that I would gain some time by recording them, (even more time by not watching of course).  I'm keeping my eye on www.giveawayoftheday.com for a recording option but have yet to find one that will record in the background while I go off and do other stuff, a prerequisite for the operation I would say.
 
As I type this I am undertaking the compromise that works for some programmes.  In one FireFox window I have Time Team playing.  (Time Team is the UK television archaeology show, which visits under explored sites and tries to find out as much new information as it can in 3 days).  I am typing this in a window over the top of the FireFox browser and that allows me to listen to the show but not see.  Shows like Voyager, the Start Trek spin-off I missed when it was first shown so watch it each evening now, is a visual experience - the story lines may be easily translated to what we have now but the added value is in the visuals.
 
Well, this post is in danger of going the same way as the last if I don't get it posted.  There's a nagging voice in the back of my head, it's trying to point out that this post isn't polished and I should work on it before sending it into the outside world; trouble is I am even more rubbish at the editing than I am at the writing.  I am ignoring that voice and the next mouse movement I make will be to post this.  A post of some sort is better than no post at all with be my watchphrase.