Considering a cloudless sky 
Greetings from the shed...
The curation and construction of this email was powered by the sun. More on that down below.
Last time I wrote was from a tent in Anglesey. On a lovely little campsite and working farm. I shared it with friends and friendly strangers. A big sky under which we got to explore the coastline, swim in the cool salty waters and sit round a fire eating and drinking far too much and just enough.
In the mornings, Snowden rose through a scarf of cloud and gulls hovering, mocked us land bound hard headed motorcyclists trying to fly. We wove valleys and wished our way through narrow coastal roads on the look out for coffee and cake.
In the evenings we sat fireside and tribal. Pressing collapsable cups in soft toasts with fine wine. Flicker lit from flame and ember, we’d recite magical words and stories. For us. For the gulls above and the geese and pigs nearby. And the standing stones. Who had heard it all before.
When it came to go our separate ways, a tired farewell had me contemplate and perhaps quietly dread the long ride before me. But then I spotted two magpies on a wall. One for sorrow, two for joy. And I smiled. Then I saw another two in a field. A little while later another two flew overhead and I laughed inside my helmet, opened the throttle, and felt immortal.
For readers just arrived, I’m Christian Payne, writer and creative generalist. I enjoy combining multi modal narrative strategies and community building. As well as training people how to capture stories on mobile devices. I’m currently exploring public and political empowerment through culture hacking, social sculpture and the creative use of communication technologies.
I’ll be mostly writing over the next year but also happy also to consult, train or document should you need me.
I enjoyed this little six minute film. Made me smile.
Loved this workflow by Andy Salerno. 4.2 Gigabytes, or: How to Draw Anything.
Here is my spoiler free review of Top Gun Maverick.
Quite a lot of my online conversations are born from people light heartedly correcting my spelling, grammatical or other such errors.
While like Joan Didion “Grammar is a piano I play by ear” when these solecisms, mistypes or other such errors are corrected in a thread, it can lead me to interesting places. Eventually it might even teach me to write right.
This is playing in the background right now.
Here are two hours of a French thunderstorm.
In this short audio @RogerOverall asks what are the health benefits of swimming in wine?
I’m not vegan, but for some reason I always though Kimchi was. It can be but it depends on your chosen fermenting process.
I hesitated when packing for the trip to Wales. Lots of power or a little power. I knew I’d be getting a dispatch out when there so opted for the larger portable power pack. The Easylonger Portable Power Station.
The paperwork has it down as a 96000mAh/297.6Wh LiFePO4 battery pack that supplies 12 to 24V DC output.
It can be charged by the AC wall plug supplied, solar if you have it, as well as via the PD 60W USB-C port. I also saw a mention that it can be charged via a ‘car charger port’ but not sure what that is. Both 12V/15A cigarette lighter ports say ‘out’ on them.
Alongside those 2 cigarette lighter ports there is a DC input port, a DC output port, 1 USB-C with input/output and 2 USB-A ports. A quick charge 3.0 and a standard USB-A. The top also has a 10W Wireless charging pad.
When I got it I mocked the LED light on the end but it was quite handy in the tent.
Over three nights of camping this battery felt like overkill as I’d used less than 20% of its capacity. I charged my phone, watch, laptop, head torch, headphones and my Kindle, only losing one bar on the LED screen. Now home I have kept on using it and powered the laptop I’m typing this on and phone continuously. I jury-rigged a folding solar panel into a charge input and have run my office without issue. My lights are on larger solar panels and a car battery but I’m thinking to swap that out for this LiFePO4 pack and see how it fares over the winter months.
This battery is aimed mostly at CPAP machine users which might explain the capacity. Should you be willing to lug 3kg of powerpack then this will suit someone away on a week or more of camping with friends. Add a solar panel and you might be good indefinitely. Or at least for 3000 charge cycles.
I was happy to take this on the motorbike but it would be even more suited for a car or camper van. My next test and possible video will have me powering my amateur radio gear while ‘working portable’.
Here is that Amazon affiliate link again should you be in need of portable power and don’t mind giving Jeff your cash.
Both my cycling and motorcycling trips this last year have benifitted greatly from me investing in some Quadlock gear. And although I was interested in their new Mag Case I wasn’t quite sure what it did. Then a box came through the post and I was enlightened. All the toys.
When the box arrived (at no cost to me) I dropped out this tweet that no one saw. The new case allows quick and east magnetic connection when you do not require the phone to be locked in place.
As I mention in the thread, the new Mag cases are fully compatible with older Quadlock mounting systems. But the older cases will not attach to the new magnetic mounts. The mounts are interchangeable though. I’m actually using the car mount in the office as the car we are borrowing has a weird windscreen angle. I don’t drive all that much anyway. Quadlock tech has been copied by others but there are some big differences in quality. The wireless desk charger is built with impeccable attention to detail. Recently in a talk I gave on ethical practices and looking after the customer, I featured Quadlock as they really looked after me when I wanted to rush a delivery before a trip. I think good tech is even better when there are good people behind it.
I’ll no doubt report back with a long term review on this gear.
Terence Eden wrote this code to help Amazon make less money and you get cheaper stuff.
@TontoWilliams shared this in the Wire backchannel from Charlotte Morgan reminding us that even the security conscious can fall foul of card scammers.
Solar power has cheapened at a blistering pace.
Any notable people living near you?
Here is my own map of notable people. Are you on it?
Prompt Base is a marketplace for generative art prompts.
Making Lego even better… Twitter thread.
19th century art form revived to make tactile science graphics for blind people.
Flash back to the 90’s with these cursor effects.
Tomorrow I’ll be talking as a ‘special guest’ at a Green Party Summer Gathering. If you are a member, activist or just someone who wants to make the world a better place maybe I’ll see you there.
Thank you for reading. Please consider subscribing if you find this of value. The price of a coffee a month goes a long way towards keeping me awake.
“Anyone who believes in indefinite growth in anything physical, on a physically finite planet, is either mad or an economist.” ~ Kenneth Boulding
See you out there.