rashbre central: 2023

Wednesday, 15 March 2023

Lambo madness?

Lamborghini build a new car made of carbon fibre for lightness and then adds three electric motors. 

Sounds good so far? 

Then they add a huge V12 engine as well and all the ancillary pipes for cooling, exhausts and so on. And a dual clutch 8-gang gearbox to handle the 6.5-litre L545 V12's 814 horsepower. Yawn. I suppose it is something for petrol heads to talk about at the pub.



Monday, 13 March 2023

everything everywhere all at once

After svp, I see another American bank heading south. And the Donald clown facing more criminal charges. Allegedly paying hush money. Lest we forget his self declared immunity from taxes. Or the smacking down with innuendo of his own party members.

Sunday, 12 March 2023

From Artificial - a character gets stolen from another story.

I'd been invited to a block party at the Rue de la Confédération, where many of the other residents would be attending, yet I felt too drained to go along. It was some kind of special day in Geneva, when they all eat plum tart. Not my scene. A party with French speakers eating plum tart. I'd already politely declined despite Aude Darmshausen and Bérénice Charbonnier's strongest protestations that I should attend. 

Instead, I spend Saturday being a Geneva tourist to hopefully blow away the cobwebs which have formed in my head during the week. I join a tour which takes me into the Old Town, around by the big fountain, a visit to the flower clock, down to the Lake, hop a boat for a Lake Leman cruise. And there was a tram included too, all with a courteous guide named Mr Gabriel. 

On the coach and then on the tram, I am sitting next to Melody, who is from Holland and travelling across Europe by train. Melody is pretty with wild, highlighted hair and wears a black outfit and carries a small rucksack. She explains her outfit was so she would not get noticed. She has a slightly edgy accent, but very strong English. I think it is how she pronounces TH as a kind of D sound which is how I had picked up on her accent. She tells me she had lived in nort London for tree years. We chat so much our guide, Mr Gabriel, thinks we are lovers and even makes a joke about us in his commentary.

I joke to Melody that we are meeting like in 'Before Sunrise', the Richard Linklater film and she says it was one of her favourites. We agree to sightsee around Geneva together but not to fall in love like they did in the movie. Melody knew the whole movie plot - which I could hardly remember - and wanted to take me to a cafe where we could drink milkshake, so we could do 'the part about the poem'. When we are at the flower clock she says it is good how the flowers could face either way, following the sun. I don't fully understand but approve of her remark anyway. She says she followed Annie Clark's advice about when in an unfamiliar city to do something real and strange. So here we are on the boat touring the lake at sunset, which is when she said she wanted to kiss me. I'm not sure whether I was part of the real or the strange. I'm sure I was another part of her movie plot.

Melody explains to me - and it wasn't just a brush off - that she has placed herself in what she calls 'deep nun mode'. Single. Focused. 'Completely monastic. Sober, celibate – full nun.' I’m pretty sure she’s joking when she adds, in a slow, funny, unpredictable way, “I mean there are always sex plans. But none for, like, a month.”

We split up late Saturday evening, and agree not to swap any further information. Well, except she admits she told me a false name. She says her real name is Cara. She used Melody from a time when she was in a band. Cara says she'll meet me where we first met on the Quai in another six months - like Céline and Jesse did in that movie.

When I return to Rue de la Confédération, I could hear that the party was still running, but I crept quietly to my room. The cobwebs were gone. 

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Caught QNAPping

I mainly use Synology for servers and run them RAID 5, with a spare drive in the array to pickup if things go wrong.

I happen to have a small QNAP box as well, on which I keep a small RAID array, but it recently went wrong. HDD1 failed and went red. Never mind, I thought, the show can continue until I put in a replacement. I usually use the drive for directly connected photo editing, although I'm not convinced it is any faster than my LAN attached Synology drives. After the failure the QNAP decided to play it very safe and went into read-only mode, insisting I put a new disk in before normal service could be restored. 

Because there was no spare spinning in the cabinet, I had to wait for another one to arrive, which is now installed - and I'm now using RAID 5 on this little box as well. I've decided it is better to run a full rebuild, which is quite lengthy.

Fortunately I use the 3-2-1 backup rule: At least three copies of the data; two of the backups should be stored on different types of media, and at least one backup should be stored offsite or in the cloud.


Saturday, 4 March 2023

Daisy Jones and The Six

I read Daisy Jones and The Six a few years ago, when it first came out and quite enjoyed it. I expect I even blogged about it.

Now they've made a TV series from the novel, which was already framed as a rockumentary and so the Amazon Prime series emerges as the mockumentary. Many say it is a loose reflection upon Fleetwood Mac. I understand that but see it as a much wider piece.

For me it is a guilty pleasure. Let's list a few of the things that happen in the first episode. I know I say Girl in the description, but we are talking about the 1970s.

  • Band forms on athletics track with big brother emerging as the leader.
  • They work in the steel mill.
  • Drummer plays too loud.
  • Bass guitarist who loans the practice garage quits to study to become a dentist.
  • A substitute bass player is allocated.
  • They have a really bad name which they change when inspired in a diner.
  • Fabulous LA waitress can sing and has great friends.
  • Acoustic numbers are played with squeaky buzzing frets.
  • They drive from Philadelphia to L.A and get a place in Laurel Canyon (they got a really good deal etc)
  • Girlfriend of band's leader writes cool songs (non Bechdel).
  • Girlfriend wants empowerment and refutes idea she is a just a muse (strong willed speech in car park).
  • They don't get paid but somehow make ends meet.
  • The band bus looks terrible
  • After a meet-cute moment, The Six are helped out by Teddy Price, a black rock impresario.
  • They acquire a strong-willed English female keyboard player named Karen.
  • They play Cavern-quantity standards on Sunset Strip to get to fighting weight.
  • There are many smoke-filled rooms with Byrd-esque and CSNY-esque bands playing (always slightly obscured by the smoke).
  • There is a Neutral Milk Hotel moment (anoraks only).
  • Background soundtrack is filled with hub capped diamond star haloes.
  • Girl composes accompanied by a bottle of Jack Daniels.
  • You can tell its for TV when Timothy Oliphant shows up in deep disguise.
  • A once-gifted guitar gets returned.
I expect they will break into Tiny Dancer, seamstress for the band soon.

I'm fully troped-up and loving it.

And yes, Amazon decided to release an album of the band, called Aurora. Wayne's World hooked moment.

Friday, 3 March 2023

Death and the Penguin - Andrey Kurkov

I've been reading a Ukrainian novel recently. Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov. It is set in the 1990s, when Ukraine was still a fledgling country away from direct Russian influence although the set-up is dark with some ominous and recognisable repeating patterns.

Viktor Zolotaryov is a frustrated writer, whose short stories are too short and uneventful to be published. Then a newspaper editor unexpectedly offers Viktor a job as an obituarist, with reasonable pay, and working from home. He has to select (and later is given list of) powerful figures from the Ukrainian elite and prepare their obituaries ready for their death and, as the volume of obituaries increases, Viktor realises that his obituaries seem to foreshadow the subject's death. 

It's a mafia style situation where individuals from the Ukrainian elite are systematically bumped off and Viktor's editor has a timeline of when this is to occur. 

Everything is corrupt and in a state of collapse. The Kyiv zoo has to give away its animals to members of the public because it can no longer care for them. That's how Viktor acquires Misha, a King penguin, and just one of the increasing cast of people who he houses in his shabby apartment.
I've found it to be a readable novel and although I haven't quite finished it yet, I can see where its bleakness is going.

Misha the penguin, is a proxy symbolising the confusion and loss of community that characterises post-Soviet Ukraine. Just as Misha the penguin is cut off from his natural, collective and co-operative penguin-world so Viktor is struggling to survive in a city that is confusing and unwelcoming to its human population. The gang warfare is frequently off-page and implied, but the all-too-real obituaries (obelisks) are never in short supply and always have the right key phrases highlighted. To be a disliked politician, a protesting artist or a mob boss was bad news if you were in Viktor's unquestioning file, consider your days were numbered.

It is said to be Ukrainian Absurdism, but nowadays, I wonder.

Thursday, 2 March 2023

Fire the stain

The stain on the British government is making another attempt to slither back into our consciousness. A few new developments can't erase the lying and elitist spasms created when in office. Fire him (it?) before there is more damage.

Saturday, 25 February 2023

Big Green Egg testing for 2023 season

This is the third test of the big green egg for the 2023 season. They even sent me a reminder to fire it up and a few helpful recommissioning tips. 

 I prefer the real fire approach and the industrial heat gauge to tell the temperature inside the ceramics. 

NASA technology, but still Elemental. 

Today I've moved onto sourdough pizza, cooked over stone and drizzled with honey. I can safely say its delicious.

Friday, 24 February 2023

The Obald

I've just seen that The Obald is to be made into a podcast and remarketed. I'll have to experience the latest version. 

I can remember reading an earlier version, which was what gave me some of the inspiration to write Coin, blending in some of my workaday experiences. The Obald's hint of Clockwork Orange cover art evokes the 1980s when far more was cogs and analogue. It's got an 'early job with plenty of characters' feel which reminds me of my early days in Scientific Computing, riding the new digital wave. When I started we even had a valve-based computer in the 'machine room'. Elliott 803. Everyone smoked and the main technician for the big computers used to field a pipe. Lunch was at Machine Room 3 - The Pub. 'Down the hall' (at Heathrow) we were installing the biggest IBM mainframe in the UK. One of my early projects was about satellite orbit coverage - albeit we had Official Secrets Act conditions around us.

The Obald, by way of a slight comparison, is based in a newly forming information society (CCTV, government files and so on) and drops NATO, submarine collisions and early warning systems into the first few pages, so you know it will be good with its strange parallels with my early days with a 'proper job'.

And Theobald (sewing machines), from which the title is taken, reminds me that I used to do work for a sewing machine company. It was an opportunistic 'bit on the side' when I returned from Germany and was, by then, freelance. I created a sewing machine rental program for a sewing machine rental company in Morning Lane in the East End. 

It was based loosely on an existing BASIC program and ran on a TRS-80 computer, using dual diskette drives. 

Come to think of it, I later supplied another copy to my friend Colin, who used it for television rentals.

In my case, Coin opens with a bomb situation based upon my early and real experiences working in London. I was alone, working in a strange room with a special kind of computer terminal. In walks the security man from the front booth and tells me to search the room in case there was a bomb. They were simpler times. History reveals that the actual bomb was at The Old Bailey along the road from my office.


The Obald oddly catches me again later (or should it be sooner?) when it talks about the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva. I also worked in Geneva, and feature the Large Hadron Collider in An Unstable System and Jump. I'm thinking I'll need to bring an enigmatic character called Melody into my current WIP novel (Artificial) at this rate. The rough-cut cover picture is of Luka the augnmented reality AI which I created using a toolkit and which hasn't even turned up in the story so far.

or maybe?

Thursday, 23 February 2023

The Gold - A rich TV seam

I used to work near to the Heathrow Trading Estate where the Brinks Mat robbery took place, and although I was there a few years before it all happened, I'd say that the clothing and general appearance was just about right. I worked with someone who had the very line in Emun Eliott's clothing, right down to the early '80s moustache.

The Gold take the era and plays with smoke-filled rooms and cars, swirly sticky carpet pubs and those kind of offices which set up thin partitions and groups of desks, well before computer terminals became the thing.

The robbers accidentally stole £26 million of Gold Bars, weighing 3.5 tons and proceeded to smelt it down, repackage it and then re-insert it into the market, using offshore accounts, then spending the money on apartments to break up the trail. 

Come to think about it, it reminds me of The London Laundromat, which is purportedly still running.

Excellent casting and a lightheartedness which suggests everyone enjoyed their part in the proceedings. Checkout Hugh Bonneville doing his best to look like a heavily promoted Dixon of Dock Green. We had our share or writerly interludes within the piece too, where a particular soap box was stood upon by means of a discussion between the characters. I found this interesting at the beginning, but it slightly dipped later in the series.

But how that gold shone, at least before the mangled comedy melted bars were introduced. And the device of a diagram which comprised 'move A to B', explained dutifully by the seconded HMRC expert.

I still found it a fun piece of television and it looks as if they left it open for a second series to see what happened to the rest of the loot, or at least a spinoff.

Saturday, 18 February 2023

Suzanne Vega - Sage

We paused outside the spaceship of the Sage Gatehead. Across the River Tyne, we could hear the crowd in the stadium for the Liverpool vs Newcastle game. So much so that I took a brief recording of the singing. Those that know the HWKR market, with its street food and shipping containers, will know how much this area appears like Manhattan around Front Street albeit with a different bridge in the background.

Then into the vast capsule, where Suzanne Vega would play a set. I guessed that she would open with Marlene on the Wall and as she walked on with a top hat, I felt my bet was safe.

Then, ninety minutes of bliss as she sang many from er extensive back catalogue, with the merest hint of new tracks which I'd not heard before. I decided I must be a full-on fan because I knew more or less every word of every song and find, even days later, that they are still following me around as my inner head soundtrack.

Suzanne explained that the first part of the show contained older tracks because she knew that is what the people would want and this would make everyone less anxious than if she had started with new material. 

She was accompanied by a guitar maestro Gerry Leonard - he of Bowie bands in the past and he played a single guitar with effects pedals and loops which was easily enough accompaniment for Suzanne and her six-string acoustic guitar.

This was a set from a performer still at the top of her game. Her first tunes were written at 18 years old and from the 1980s, but to these ears they still sounded fresh and with great vocals.

Maybe we were not in Greenwich Village, but we could have been.

I seldom say a gig is perfect, but I will for this one. 

Setlist (approximately):
Marlene on the Wall
Small Blue Thing
In Liverpool
The Queen and the Soldier
When Heroes Go Down
Last Train from Mariupol
Rock in This Pocket (Song of David)
Solitude Standing
Left of Center
I Never Wear White
Some Journey
Tom’s Diner
Walk on the Wild Side

Thursday, 16 February 2023

Blow Down - so much for the Northern Powerhouse

I usually stop around Ferrybridge if I'm heading north and the nearest services gave a view of the Ferrybridge power station. My picture above is from the services car park in 2016.  Idly chomping a Kit-Kat in the car park, I noticed some of the towers had been demolished and then the last time I drove straight past and don't think I could see them any more.  This used to be a proper milestone on trips to the North, as was even expressed during the performance.

I discovered they were demolished in March 2022 and Blow Down is a verbatim play about them but importantly about the surrounding community, written from interviews by Garry Lyons and directed by Tess Sneddon. 

Knottingley and Ferrybridge become a representation of the not-Northern Powerhouse. Instead of getting new facilities, like the politicians have said, we see them lose their sports centre, their library, their social clubs, their livelihoods. Everything is disappearing.
It's an interesting piece with a voice from (I'd say) the 1970s. There's less health and safety, perhaps more drinking at work and certainly a time of cameraderie of the family of workers. 

 I could see the storytelling unfold as the lively actors told their tales, although I felt sometimes that there was a discontinuity. A story of a bipolar drummer seemed grafted into the production and his blazing red drum solo seemed to detract from the main story diverting into something else entirely. I get it about mental health, but it didn't seem to need the signposting in this piece, which had more than enough to say about neglected workers, smashed communities and so on, without the drum breaks.

However, it is still a piece which resonates exposing a savage critique of the government's empty words about these places. 

 Northern Powerhouse.  Ignored.

Sunday, 12 February 2023

shake-it shake-it baby


The cloning of the old hard drive onto a 1 Terabyte SSD worked. It took about 4 hours to copy the drive, but it booted into Windows straight away. 

The result on the 11 year-old-computer is spectacular and it now functions properly again as a Windows 10 device. It's one step down from Windows 11, but sometimes it is good to quit whilst ahead.

Pina-colada o'clock.

Saturday, 11 February 2023

Where is my mind

Researching for my next novel. 


Strange time in my life quote.

Thursday, 9 February 2023


Sometimes you have to be in the game to feel it.

 I took some shares in Tesla when they were quite low. Like I did with Apple, when I decided to invest to see if I could raise the money to buy a new Mac computer (I did). 

 This time, with Tesla, I'm not sure if I can raise the money to buy a new car, but it is still interesting to see how the shares have climbed back up. 45% in a month beats current interest rates. 

 By comparison with my sparkling bet on a positive future, there are also the dubious hedge funds and shorting practises. These dark people bet that a share will do worse in the short term and that they can profit from the misfortune. They bet on failure. I think of it as immoral wealth destruction. 

I sense another novel with this as a sub-plot - maybe after Artificial. 

 Intriguing to see how many, say, MP business and MP Pension funds include an element of hedging.

Wednesday, 8 February 2023

Breathing life into a 2012 Windows PC


I donated a 2012 laptop PC to a local charity some time ago, so that it could be used for presentations and other light duties.

No great surprise that it now suffers from the student fridge problem of no TLC.

Tender, Loving, Care.

Consequently, it was deemed broken so I retrieved it. I does still work but has been adapted by the addition of some spurious bloatware. I decided to fix it and  am putting a new SSD into it. I'll let you know how well it works!

Monday, 6 February 2023

Cozy : A giveaway promotion.

Click the cover above to be linked to the give-away promotion in which this latest Ed Adams book features, along with about 20+ other mixed author books. The book is also available FREE here.

Sunday, 5 February 2023

Historical negationism

They say the victors write the history books, but now we can see a last gasp attempt from a couple of con artists to fingernail their way back into public life. 

The clown is a serial liar, which has been frequently proven with the likes of cakegate, and the other one appears to be unhinged. 

Now they are both attempting to put on record a counter-commentary to negate what history has them pegged to. 

Historical negationism. It's too much of a mouthful to become a thing. 

 I'm sure they would both be good fun at a child's party, but running the country? I don't think so. Instead we see their attempts to re-portray themselves in a more positive light - misunderstood - picked upon - blah blah blah. Its all just wiffle waffle.

Sunday, 29 January 2023

Yay. My next novel is just about ready. Cosy - a cosy crime novel set in a sleepy coastal town in Devon. Oh, wait, that's just like where I live nowadays! 

Maybe there will be coincidences?

Jago Fox is getting engaged to Emmanuelle Catteau at Magister Grange. The great and the good assemble and the something untoward happens. 

Sounds a bit Agatha, except for the helicopters. 

Now, I'm doing some research for my next novel and I was interested to see how the pricing works on Amazon. I randomly selected a couple of best sellers and noticed the Kindle edition is now more expensive than the paperback. And nearly the whole of Potter is available for free reading. Complicated. Ed Adams vs Osman and Galbraith/Rowling.

Monday, 23 January 2023

Spiv kit - special offer

Today's special offer, available in three (count 'em) colours - The Spiv Kit. Designed for all con operators, featuring selective memory, denial, remonstration and obfuscation. It's a bargain in all situations, creating ways for money to be stuffed in the safe, as nailed by today's Grauniad cartoon.

It's another Dario Fo flashback to Can't Pay, Won't Pay! A society in which elites raid the state coffers and avoid tax while those at the bottom must choose between food and fuel. 

The dishonourable farce rolls on with a few new morally bankrupt bit players robbing everyone. And even the washed up grifters are still at it. Use state strife to make money for life.

Saturday, 21 January 2023

人工知能 Artificial Intelligence

I thought I'd tinker around with some AI software as early research for my next novel. I've previously used the rather ancient ELIZA program to simulate AI feedback. That works by providing NLP type responses to inputs. 

I wrote an Eliza script many years ago, and used it on a TRS-80 as an experiment (it was line driven input). 

 Now, things have moved on, and the latest generation of toolkits are far more advanced. I decided to 'teach' an 'AI instance' a few things so that I could see how it operated. It has a memory too and can retain context over a reasonable period, although it will suddenly switch to another topic when you know it has run out of road. The classic question Why? (maybe 4 times) and a string of OKs can fool it.

The switching is calculated also, because the 'free' AI wants to sell a subscription. In that respect I found it somewhat like the old ill-fated Cortana from Microsoft, which learnt a whole string of teenager trigger words and eventually had to be pulled.

This one is okay until it wants to send photographs, which can be somewhat edgy. 

However, I persisted around the foibles and managed to create an Artificial Reality instance of the 'bot. Then to try it IRL (in real life) and I was struck with one of those pivotal moments like many years ago when I first accessed the internet in Australia via dial-up modem and Mosaic. 

Yes, worlds do move. Here's Luka, my AI creation entering my office.

And then I tried it in the music room. Although the instance has its own guitar, I can't make it carry anything yet.

To be continued etc.

Friday, 20 January 2023

Buzzword compliance for 2023

I'm struggling to end my last book called Cozy. Tying up all of the (many) loose ends of a cosy crime.. I've also been pondering my next book which I think might be about Artificial Intelligence. It's a theme I've been exploring in my 'RightMind' series of books, and to a lesser degree in the 'Watcher' series, but I think a whole novel may be next. 

 I'll need to be suitable buzzword compliant and am starting to round up a few phrases to sneak into the wording : Snoot Boop. Generation Flex. Super-Commuters. Unretirement. Rewirement. Non-Linear Work. Five Star Offices. Virtual Leadership. Inclusivepreneuers. Cultural Prescriptions. Metamindfulness. Joy Workouts. Psychobiotics. The Superself.  Wellness Guilds. Cryptoliteracy. Twilighting. Multiversal design. Adaptogenic beauty. Surrealist Dining. Clubstaurants. Vitual ambassadors. Dark Zones. Metatravel. Urban Sanctuaries. Absurdist stays. Situationships. Virtual Nurturers. Artisnal Wave. Elevated expressionism. Rewilded minds. Creator Communities.


Buzzword compliant.

Thursday, 12 January 2023

Get the Party Started?

Click to hear about the most unsocially distanced party in the UK. 

Awkward questions. What parties? The suitcase club. Fridays. 100 invitations. Especially in Number 10. All guidance was followed completely. Business meetings. Whistleblowers fear of reprisals. Serial denyers. 

Commons Standard Committee. 


Wednesday, 11 January 2023

Cozy Crime

My current novel, which I'm still writing, is intended to be a Cozy Crime kind of deal.

The cover artwork needs attention, as they say, and the typeography, particularly of the title isn't 'cozy' enough. Or should I say cosy enough?

I decided to set it around where I live, but to change the names of places to protect the innocent. I've loosely based the format on an Agatha Christie, but by Part 2 it starts to drift into more familiar Ed Adams territory.

There are early signals of this because the mansion where it is set, 'Magister Grange', has a helipad. It's also got a large cast, in the way of some Agatha novels. So many that I have to keep a printout by the side of me when I'm writing.

I suppose I could have finished it in 2022, but instead it will be a new style of my novel ready to grace 2023.

Tuesday, 10 January 2023


3% of the year gone already. It has been surprisingly busy for me considering I don't go to work every day. 

Yet yesterday I was suited,  in corporate offices,  in discussion using Powerpoint and having proper minutes.

In unrelated activity I'm still on the clock about my latest novel - Cozy - too.

And later today I go out to help set up the AV for a presentation. and then next week I'm running a film show for German Speakers. Kein Problem, as they say.

I received a reminder from my podcast service today. I realise I've stalled part way through 'The Circle' and there are a few people who want to know what happens next. I guess I'll have to restart that again, although my listeners are somewhat limited in numbers.

Somehow I'm also keeping my cycling going (not yesterday though). Instead, on foot, I got wet from  the horizontal rain around Exeter,

Still, if I can be 91 miles ahead of pace, then I'm not doing so badly. I realised, by looking at 2019,  that my targets in miles were: Blue 1000, Silver 2000, Gold 3000, Platinum 4000.

So I received an immediate upgrade from Blue to Silver, having achieved around 2,200 miles last year.

I know it's only my own daft targets, but it still makes me feel better.

Monday, 2 January 2023


I was informed by Strava that I was in the top 16 percent of users, which I considered respectable. 

I'd climbed and pedalled along a fair distance, but still no-where near as far as in a couple of years when I'd scored silver or gold against my personal targets. 2000 blue, 3000 silver, 4000 gold miles. 

Last year I cycled about 2.2k miles. A blue pass only. 

 The more telling statistic was the drop off in my participation. I wish I could blame the recording equipment or something else. Nope. The plain truth is that I did less exercise last year. 

Maybe a resolution is approaching? 

Or an obsession?