Chill out music

Some notes from earlier in the year.

Alone Tonight
Sweet Lullaby
Something (IE any song) by Bond
For an Angel
The Best Thing , Hook an Sling
On a good Day – Above and beyond
Crocketts Theme
Lolas Theme
Burned with desire
Armin Van Burrent – Shivers
Rachels Song
Take me away – 4 Strings.

On the bike and old top gear episodes.

Ive gone back into weight loss mode. Recently brought the scales back into the kitchen and weighing myself a bit . Looking to lose around 10kg , which im tipping my body wont miss.  That will bring me back into the two digit weight range (kilograms).

Only recently did i realise that my bike upgrade had hindered my weight loss. The old wasnt as fast and i spent longer each trip. Ive gone from about half hour rides to 20 minute rides for the same course. This combined with some already weight lost means less calories burnt for the same trip. My solution is to add some extra distance in the middle by doing an extra lap of a detour circuit which is nice to know i can actually skip if im in a hurry. It should bring the calories burnt per trip back up into an ideal range and help the recent plateau ive been experiencing.

Also saw some old top gear episodes recently and theyre markedly different from their current work.

…. A Temporal Distortion

Last night i worked late and had to fill out some paperwork and I had to enter the date. I checked my trusty watch (a G-Shock) and it told me “today” was tuesday, but i knew that was wrong. I double checked with my phone.

When i got home i checked in detail and adjusted the watched time. It thought the current year was 2074……. Apparently my watch has done a bit of time travel, and much more than usual.

Its now been reset back to 2014.

Without a timepiece to provide an accurate reference point, we cant really be sure what time it is.

Pursuit – The sinking of the Bismark , Ludovic Kennedy

ISBN 0-00-634014-8

I picked this book up in a bargain bin for $1 and it was money well spent. The book describes the break out, hunt for and eventual sinking of the German Battleship Bismark. The book also shows some parts which i hadn’t previously known about including the submarines in the area and the attempt to launch the Bismarks seaplane to ensure the ships logs and other documents are safe.

From the back cover
In May 1941 the German battleship Bismark, then the most formidable fighting ship afloat, escaped into the Atlantic, posing a fearful threat to the convoys that kept Britain alive. She had to be sunk.

‘For sheer suspense and switch of fortune from one side to the other, the story could hardly be equalled.’  -Daily Telegraph

‘Vigorous, compulsively readable account of one of the great sea battles.’ Yorkshire Post

‘If future generations wish to understand the reality of the Second World War at sea they could ask for no better guide than Mr Kennedy’ The Time Literary Supplement.

Some things stick out as memorable from reading this book, That the German Navy was the least political of the armed forces. The battle could have easily gone differently, although i think the end result was certain. The British were not going to leave a battleship  to attack convoys in the Atlantic for long and given the advancements of Radar and naval aviation, once the ship was found it would be followed until sunk, however difficult that would be. 

Battleships had reached their peak of power on the seas although some believed they were still kings of the sea. I didn’t know some of them were fitted with Torpedo launchers and the book comments that the Bismarks final battle is the only battle where one battleship may have torpedoed another battleship. I think the German Navy wanted an Aircraft carrier built and this was vetoed by Goring as aviation was the airforces domain.

The Bismark had a sister UBoat, U556 who was christened at the same time and their paths crossed several times. During christening, a shakedown cruise was conducted and both ships engaged the same surface targets. U-556 also responded to the distress call of the Bismark and was in the area in the hours before it was sunk. It was not able to help as it had used its last torpedo sinking the 5000 ton Darlington Court. The captain was advised against sinking such a small ship and put it this way “The certainty of a sparrow now was better than the possibility of a pigeon later.” . Even after they had a firing solution on the freighter, something went wrong and they had to line up again later. Again he was advised to save the torpedo but the captains mind was made up. Later he would regret this decision and although the book put it that he later could have had a eagle and not a pigeon, i think he could have had a Unicorn. Later in the book he is described as having to helplessly watch as the British flagship,  the aircraft carrier Ark Royal and a battleship sail past without escort or zigzagging. 

I enjoyed reading it and will see if i can pass it on to a friend who will put it to good use.

Belkin YourType keyboard and stand

For some time i had wanted to be able to use a full sized keyboard with my tablet and smartphone rather than use the on screen keyboards.

I had bought a generic bluetooth keyboard some time ago but that never really got used much. Last week i was browsing through an electronics store and saw a few keyboards and investigated.

The box has an ipad pictured on it, says “For all iPad Models”, “Comfortable, Well-Spaced Keys”, “Slim and Portable”.

After previous experience buying a bluetooth keyboard and finding it didnt want to work as intended**, i disposed of it on ebay at a loss, i asked the employee whether we could open it and confirm it connected to my phone. We did, it did and i bought it. I’m still pretty happy with the purchase.

** I believe the manufacturer intended to have that bluetooth keyboard only compatible with its own devices.

One of my issues with the keyboard is the if you hold down delete, it gets a bit enthusiastic with the key repeat rate and it deleted a paragraph of the post im typing now when i only wanted two words gone.

My requirements were:-
1. Bluetooth keyboard (connects to phone )
2. Standard consumer batteries (AA/ AAA), Not inbuilt rechargables
3. On/Off switch, doesnt drain the battery unnecessarily.
4. Keys are covered when not in use.

2. Some were chargable by USB cable and i keep a stock of batteries at home.  You can use rechargables if you want and its not too expensive to have an extra set in the bag for when they run flat on you out and about.
The pack included two energiser AAAs.

3 & 4 werent actually requirements until i saw the unit, I wanted to put it in a backpack and it helped convince me to pay the $70ish for the unit. A bit higher than i wanted but i’m pretty sure i’ll get to use the keyboard for years and the more its used, more time saved and more it pays for itself.

All up, I’m a pretty happy camper.

I’m going to add a few things here because i’m about to get rid of the manual… yes i actually read it….

Not too obvious Shortcut / Quick Keys.
Padlock – Screen off
Square – Home
Keyboard – Virtual keyboard
Magnifying glass – Search
Flower (under left shift key)- Slideshow

Powering the keyboard
When you turn the keyboard on the status LED will flash blue. When the keyboard batteries are low, the status LED will flash amber.

If you use this keyboard with different devices, it has to be paired every time its connected to a different device. If the keyboard is not paired, the status LED will flash blue.
When pairing, press and hold the “pair” key. (I had tried just pressing the button and hitting scan the first time).