XplosivBadger Journal

Back to work

A change of routine


Well I am due back at work tonight for a couple of nifty twelve hour shifts, I was going to take it easy yesterday but I was enjoying the charge of hard, physical work. So I am trying to get some things done before I settle into a new, different routine at work on several fronts. I was walking back from the local village shop last night and a red squirrel jumped right out in front of me, I almost stood on its tail it was so close. This got me thinking that almost, almost everyday has had a little high point of some sort. That is pretty impressive considering I have been on furlough for 113 days (3 months and 21 days / 30.87% of the year), this might warrant a list but to be honest I haven't got the time this morning. So I spent the day of tackling trees and the wooden border around the rockery, today is much more relaxed.

I have veered into a couple of interesting things, one I mentioned briefly in my previous post was the Colour Maximite 2 by Geoff Graham which I have ordered. I also went onto eBay to get myself a 15” monitor for it, I'm not a fan of multiple monitors cluttering my desks but I am hoping I can re-jiggle the desk layout. The real plus is that it will force me into getting a shelf to lift them up, I have been putting that particular purchase for ages. I also downloaded the documentation for this little computer which I got printed by a company called Print My PDF. Very happy with the results, I process information better with printed, physical medium so this was a good find for me which I thought I would share here. I would like to play about with the Raspberry Pi maybe over the winter if I can find the time. I tripped over the report 'Google Data Collection' by Professor Douglas C Schmidt (professor of computer science at Vanderbilt University) from 2018 after watching a video by Bryan Lunduke. Nothing here should really surprise anyone but I really should look at an alternative operating system for my phone at some point.

So tonight I plan to read a few books and catch up on some podcasts, if the timing works I may even to sneak into barbers for a haircut tomorrow morning if I am firing on at least one cylinder.

Written by Paul on July 17, 2020 | Posted on July 22, 2020 - #BackToTheSaltPits

Keeping it shallow

A goddamn sexual tyrannosaurus


hosta

Sunday morning and I am making tea while watching the wood peckers come and go to the feeder. This is the first year we've fed the birds through summer, normally we wrap it up when winter loosens its grip. I threw together an industrial looking feeder five feet away from the kitchen window, very little social distancing is evident. Once I get moving I will head back into the garage today as I have done a lot of work, feeling very accomplished. I expect to be back at work at the end of next month. Hopefully the bus service extends beyond its current meagre offerings, so I feel the pressure of time running out. I have returned to twitter to keep up to speed on the public transport situation.

Our garage was used as so many are as storage but without the means to organise this ever growing collection of stuff. So using old flooring, worktop, timber and dismantled furniture I have finished my nifty benches. I still have a heavy duty iron bench I need to dig out and give a lick of paint, a surface more suitable and forgiving for working with metal, oily engine parts and attaching a vice. I got the two new windows in and a a new door and frame although the frame needs work but the bulk of the work is done. I only have one batch of tools left to tackle in the white distilled vinegar, a tedious job but the results are brilliant. Some of this old tools really should be painted as I cant see them being used but are really beautifully engineered. During all this the neighbours brother arrived with a large trailer load of cut and split firewood, so I made a space. Then cracked on tackling the firewood and kindling we already have and managed to blast through it with the 'old chopper' as a friend remarked.

If my only tool is a hammer, then every problem is a nail.

Sholem Asch

I have not only been trying to pull every single muscle in my body, I have had time to get into some gaming which has over taken listening to podcasts in the evening. With the summer steam sale on I am trying new games, indie titles and hidden gems so I can avoid the first person shooter which has become dull due to my over overexposure. So I to picked up a nice Sunwaytek H510 controller and the steam controller which I have wanted for some time as I remembered hearing about all the design work that went into it. I did already have a couple of Xbox 360 controllers and a couple of snes clones but the temptation was their for something else. If I get a chance I might try and pick up a second hand ps4 controller, just for giggles. Anyway, because everyone loves a list here is mine.

  • Do some ground work between the house and the garage, dig it out and level it
  • Tackle the garage and regain some order before tackling the new storage
  • Start cutting the big trees beside the house and neighbours property
  • Plan and build workbenches and shelving for the garage
  • Clean and restore some tools with white distilled vinegar
  • Take out the old garage windows and replace them
  • Convert an electric cooker into a garden incinerator
  • Buy the parts and build a new daily driver computer
  • Replaced the adjustable float fill valve in the toilet
  • Do some maintenance on my neglected mountain bike
  • Cut and trim the hedge we cut last year (phase one)
  • Prune the fruit trees next to the road and the garage
  • Top the tree beside the bird table and coal bunker
  • Take out the old garage side door and replace it
  • Order some heavy duty line for the brush cutter
  • Move half a ton of stones to around the pond
  • Top the tree beside the bird table and coal bunker
  • Modify a Thermaltake Versa H18 computer case
  • Order another new wheel for the lawn mower
  • Burn all the tinder dry scrap wood in beast
  • Stock take of new electronic components
  • Make a saw horse for cutting fire wood
  • Top and prune the large wild cherry tree
  • Order a new wheel for the lawn mower
  • Get the brush cutter running better
  • Dismantle scaffolding and move it
  • Jump ship from Windows onto Linux
  • Build a new daily driver computer
  • Clear and flatten the compost area
  • Move building bricks and blocks
  • Sort my electronics scrap pile
  • Tidy and clear the yard area
  • Tidy and clear the pond
  • Get my step count up
  • Scan all my art again
  • Sign up to Spotify
  • Move scaffolding
  • More Gardening
  • Eat less bat
  • Gardening

Things still to do

  • Refurbish a Nintendo Gameboy classic with a new shell and speaker
  • Pull out,paint and sand the old metal working bench
  • Move another half ton of stones into the garden
  • Replace the inner tubes on the mountain bike
  • Dismantle the last scaffolding and move it
  • Build a circular saw bench
  • Move a load of roof tiles
  • Update my curriculum vitae
  • Build two more websites
  • Keep my step count up
  • Create lots of sexy art
  • Finish this website
  • Buy a new vice

Things to do on Nightshift (back at work)

  • Learn or rediscover a new programming language
  • Listen to more short wave radio
  • Read more

Things to do in August

  • Fix the ridge tiles and fix the roof of the house (roof ladder required, cement mixer required)
  • Replace some of the wooden border around the rockery
  • Replace a security lights and add two new ones
  • Tackle phase two of the devil hedge
  • Top as many trees as I can
  • More gardening

Things to do before year end

  • More hiking adventures with Mike, David and Hamish
  • Put up a gate for the entrance of the yard
  • Change the oil in the lawnmower
  • Upgrade the security camera
  • A new (day) job?
  • Avoid bat!

Lots of new technical books to get stuck into, when I return to work I will need to find a routine to focus on them. I had hoped and it was on my list to read more but by the end of the day I was just dead on my feet and needed to vegetate. So electronics has taken a back seat at the moment. Some time this week I plan to break out the ink for a good doodle, this was inspired by a firm favourite which is of course the almost pornographic hosta in the garden. I was playing about with figuring out a workflow for using some graphics software and was pulling images from my phone to use as examples. This has sparked a need and want to create, the want is ever present but the need has been illusive of late.

So there we go, still charging on but with the bulk of the work done I am rewarding myself with an easy day or two. The only other thing I would like to mention is the Colour Maximite 2 (edit 13th July: ordered). Which is a small self contained computer inspired by the home computers of the early 80’s. Now this, has caught my attention maybe more so than the The Commander X16. Fun times ahead. My family, friends and the love of my life are all doing well.

Written by Paul on July 5, 2020 | Posted on July 9, 2020 - #WorkingHard

You can do it put your back into it

At some point I will need a rest and return to work


Inverness

Since my last journal entry the weather has continued to be glorious! Long sunny days spent catching up on the list and expanding it. For the most part I am feeling pretty content at this point, I am guessing I maybe have a month before I go back to work? Maybe?

Everyone who is anyone seems to be cycling, so this has inspired me to take my mountain bike out of the garage for an inspection. It is not bad shape thanks mainly to being an alloy frame. A couple of new tubes and some maintenance and it should be ready to roll once again. I don't know if I will cycle much its more about going against the advice I have had from several people to ‘buy a new one’. Since I am talking about the shit show which is the garage that particular job is going to be a back breaker, but I started it today which has bore several interesting ideas. These have filtered down to new tasks on the list below.

Things done

  • Convert an electric cooker into a garden incinerator
  • Buy the parts and build a new daily driver computer
  • Order some heavy duty line for the brush cutter
  • Modify a Thermaltake Versa H18 computer case
  • Move half a ton of stones to around the pond
  • Make a saw horse for cutting fire wood
  • Order a new wheel for the lawn mower
  • Get the brush cutter running better
  • Dismantle Scaffolding and move it
  • Jump ship from Windows onto Linux
  • Build a new daily driver computer
  • Move building bricks and blocks
  • Sort my electronics scrap pile
  • Tidy and clear the yard area
  • Tidy and clear the pond
  • Get my step count up
  • Scan all my art again
  • Sign up to Spotify
  • Move scaffolding
  • More Gardening
  • Eat less bat
  • Gardening

Things still to do

  • Clear and flatten the compost area for a Greenhouse/potting shed and vegetable plot next year
  • Have a look at either replacing the garage side door or giving it a serious makeover
  • Tackle the garage and regain some order before tackling the new storage
  • Refurbish a Nintendo Gameboy classic with a new shell and speaker
  • Plan and build workbenches and shelving for the garage
  • Clean and restore some tools with white distilled vinegar
  • Do some maintenance on my neglected mountain bike
  • Take out the old garage windows and replace them
  • Fix the ridge tiles and fix the roof of the house
  • Order another new wheel for the lawn mower
  • Move half a ton of stones into the garden
  • Stock take of new electronic components
  • Learn a new programming language
  • Listen to more short wave radio
  • Update my curriculum vitae
  • Build two more websites
  • Keep my step count up
  • Create lots of sexy art
  • Finish this website
  • Read more

The last piece came in the post from Spain the other day to complete my new daily driver computer. A large adhesive stencil of a penguin, since I have jumped ship. I was a constant dabbler with Linux but it was gaming that kept me coming back to Windows. Now with Proton and Steam Play, my wait is over. I am not going to bore you with my thoughts on Linux or Windows. Ive been using Windows on my main desktop computer for a very long time and normally had Linux installed on a laptop. This has now reversed and I cant see it reverting back anytime soon.

So keeping busy and more importantly getting things done. After having several conversations with people, some are getting very active like myself and others are more stationary. The two different camps are dealing with the event in their own way. For me having a routine and having a list of jobs has been a perfect fit. Although I am looking forward to returning to work for a bit of a break. The photograph for this post was from my weekly shopping trip into Inverness.

Written by Paul on June 4, 2020 | Posted on June 14, 2020 - #BatFreeDiet

Welcome survivor

It has been 150 days since the event started.


A pattern left my the retreating tide on sand

Since being placed on furlough I have been thoroughly enjoying myself, thankfully no one in my immediate circle of friends, family or my girl have shuffled off the mortal coil. I normally work a permanent night shift so waking up after a nights sleep is epic, loving the normal sleep pattern. So I have been starting my days by sitting myself down on the door step in my dressing gown, cup of tea/cigarette in hand and I marvel at the stillness. These are moments when I think, are people are still eating bat? I wonder if like the vegetarian alternatives to meat has a company starting working on an alternative to bat. Personally I have to admit to never thinking that a bat was anything else than a poor, troubled cousin to a bird never mind a meal. My thoughts and prayers are with you if your going gold turkey.

I was dead for millions of years before I was born and it never inconvenienced me a bit.

Mark Twain

I accepted my mortality very early on in life but took me a lot longer to start making the most of life. Thank god I am not on Twitter any more, that and Facebook must be terrible at the moment. So being free from the distraction, misinformation, conspiracies, exaggerated and self-indulgent feelings means I can concentrate on my priorities. With these people who I hold dear safe and sound I can spend my time being productive, I have even made a to-do list.

Things done

  • Convert an electric cooker into a garden incinerator
  • Modify a Thermaltake Versa H18 computer case
  • Move half a ton of stones to around the pond.
  • Make a saw horse for cutting fire wood
  • Get the brush cutter running better
  • Move building bricks and blocks
  • Tidy and clear the pond
  • Get my step count up
  • Sign up to Spotify
  • Move scaffolding
  • Eat less bat
  • Gardening

Things still to do

  • Fix the ridge tiles and fix the roof of the house
  • Move half a ton of stones into the garden
  • Dismantle Scaffolding and move that
  • Learn a new programming language
  • Listen to more short wave radio
  • Sort my electronics scrap pile
  • Update my curriculum vitae
  • Build two more websites
  • Keep my step count up
  • Create lots of sexy art
  • Scan all my art again
  • Finish this website
  • More Gardening
  • Read more

Part of my routine has been listening to podcasts again when I have run out of puff from the constant and ongoing battle with the garden, very relaxing. I used to listen religiously during the small hours at work but lost my way over a year ago when I went from working by myself, to having company. The same unfortunate pattern occurred again it came to reading and drawing as well. When the dust settles on current events I will be returning to what worked best for me on my shift, although ultimately I want to move on to another exciting opportunity by the end of the year. Anyway, I had a little splurge on a BluDento Bluetooth receiver for better sound which is also handy for software-defined radio (SDR). Since my desktop failed last month I have been using my ThinkPad laptop but I have already started to order the parts for a new desktop. All this of course feeds my inner nerd who has been neglected for a while.

Oh and welcome to my journal, maybe should have made of this being the first post.

Written by Paul on April 15, 2020 | Posted on April 27, 2020 - #MyFavouriteSoap

About

Paul Henderson


A photo of Paul Henderson

A 45 year old man from the Highlands of Scotland doing creative things that make him happy and also to keep the rust out.


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I also have two other web sites which will eventually showcase showcase my art and electronics projects.


Wish lists


To prevent another 2016 debacle happening again.


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