rashbre central: November 2023

Tuesday 28 November 2023

Yay. 4000 miles = my Platinum target...Achieved.

Well, I wasn't sure at the half year point whether I'd make it this year, when I was 700 miles behind the pace after our holiday in Switzerland. However, I seem to have managed to catch up, as can be seen from the attached Strava graph. 4002.3 miles and it is still November. 

I have a sneaking feeling that December will be largely bike free, but perhaps mince pie heavy. Thats what I pushed through November and managed to finish just slightly ahead of the target. I'll award myself 'Platinum' again this year. 

Since I've been using Garmin to monitor my progress, many years ago, I've clocked 43,295.8 miles and 374,528 feet of elevation gain. My longest ride was 100.4 miles and my biggest climb is 546 feet, although I think I've done some longer ones, but the system doesn't always record everything. 

Now I need to work out a different set of targets for 2024, maybe using some form of interval and I have a secret wish to go back into using Sufferfest for some of the time. Maybe I'll come up with some kind of hybrid target. 

Anyway, my lightweight Fizik saddle is very worn now, although my (much heavier) Brooks leather saddle looks almost 'box fresh' even after bearing the brunt of the miles.

Monday 27 November 2023

Whoops Apocalypse

Do we get what we deserve? 

  • The current situation with several major wars (Ukraine, Gaza, Sudan ) to name a few examples.  
  • A leadership unable to run the country, yet with an indeterminate opposition and a wild-eyed spanner thrower.
  • So many examples of corruption and incompetence in government that it is almost futile to keep lists.
  • Ill-balanced and uncaring sector relief (food banks, charities to support essential services, the mainly ignored north)
  • Continued fat-cat troughing of everything.
The old TV show Whoops Apocalypse and the story of containment theory exemplified by General Sir John Hackett predicted situations like this from as far back as the 1980s.

Saturday 25 November 2023

EV Electric car charging times

I get asked by people how long it takes to recharge my electric car. There's three main modes.

Here’s a breakdown of the charging methods and approximately how long each take to fully charge from a low battery:

  • Level 1 AC (240V ordinary mains outlet at home): 20+ hours.  No, I have never used this mode, but carry the charger as a 'just in case' provision. I believe they are called 'granny chargers'.
  • AC Level 2 (Third party chargers/Tesla chargers/Tesla 'home charger'): 8-12 hours - Like I have installed on the outside of the house. I have a Tesla Wall Charger which will reliably charge my car to 'full' or 80-90% overnight. It's usual practice to charge to 80-90% and it easily does this on off-peak electricity. A full charge to 90% (303 miles) costs about £5.60 and to full 335 miles is around £6.50. 
  •  Level 3 DCFC (Tesla Supercharger): 15-25 minutes. It depends on the charge and whether the car next door is sharing the same supply. I can get to 80% in about 15 minutes or 30 minutes if I'm sharing the power supply. It will cost more though, maybe £15-20 to fill up.

When I started using the car, I was often travelling around the country and therefore using the Superchargers. When I'm at home (which is about 60-70% of my charging now - with over a year of usage) then I've almost always got a 'full tank'. And no visits to service stations. 

Despite what people say, there is only one main plug type in general use throughout the UK and Europe (cars since around 2019 have been fitted with it). It's the CCS plug and is a standard Euro-spec connector that combines two DC pins arranged below a Type 2 connector, allowing for fast charging. Like in my picture above.

Wednesday 8 November 2023

Nanowrimo, now at around 10k words

I was at the Glorious Arthouse in Exeter on Sunday for the NaNoWriMo writers get-together. I arrived a few minutes late and had to squeeze a chair into what was a very crowded space. 

The discipline of the event was 20 minutes writing and then 20 minutes chatting, repeated several times. I was working out some next plot moves so my writing was very limited. 

I reckon about 300 words, which I typed into Evernote on my iPhone. Of course it appeared as if by magic on my Mac and I could drop it into Scrivener when I returned home. 

 Among our chats was the one about Planners and Pantsers. I'm more like a 'by the seat of my pantser' rather than one with the whole story mapped out. I think the characters have a chance to do their own things which can still lead to some surreal moments. 

Another discussion was about Fantasy vs Reality. I know I've written about Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and similar and even have some super-beings in a couple of novels, but I can't bring myself to use 'with a single bound they were free' magic-wand type lines. The fantasy magic can wait for a children's story. 

And that's how I find myself in Corsica, by way of Vasil Nevski Military University, Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria.

Saturday 4 November 2023

..or is it?

 I can't help wondering whether that last Beatles song made using Neural Mix or whatever, is really 'the last track', given the emergence of AI. 

I've seen it more with Taylor Swift and other slightly more modern artists, where a song doesn't get made and so some fans have a go instead.

Click the pic.

Friday 3 November 2023

Tweetdeck redux

About time I managed to get tweetdeck running again. Now I need to fine tune it.