Meaningful Contact [257]

Greetings from my shed...

Wild hair, bedraggled beard, creased clothing. If disheveled was a look, I could hit the catwalk. Actually I just searched ‘hobo chic’ and it really is a thing. I have become accidentally fashionable. And although you might think I’m 7 years too late, I’ll have you know I was also sporting this look in the 90’s.

Two selfies almost 30 years apart. Narcissism across the ages.


If you listened to the podcast I recorded last night over the 21st minute after the 21st hour of the 21st day of the 21st century you will know exactly what I have been up to. Of course I didn’t realise the insignificance of that time till after the moment.

Especially as so many of my individual moments right now are not only the same, they often repeat day on day. We are healthy though. so really can’t complain. I hope you are too.

Apart from hammering this email out between classes, today is the same as yesterday and the day before that.

Although sometimes I need to help my lad with his school work and today I just let him get on with it.

This was him answering a questionnaire on behalf of Jesus.

To be honest I think my lad sold Jesus a little short there, but I had just put a cheese and onion sarnie on the table and he was obviously hungry.


Some guys in an inflatable boat manage to launch a drone to give a fascinating glimpse into Putins Palace. Quite an amazing video. Link via @Luboxon.

This is not what you think it is.


Great send off for Trump. Obituary for a failed presidency.

As is this…

The United States of America was founded on a conspiracy theory

I have finally got a hard copy of Rhian Lewis’ book The Cryptocurrency Revolution. That’s what I’m reading for learning in the day and I still have Douglas Coupland for last thing at night.


I quite like a decent sea shanty. They were a part of my childhood. Although only heard round a fire, nowhere coastal. I’ve a feeling I sang a few in a past life and would certainly have done so in a parallel one to this if I’d boarded that ship back in Penang in the 90’s. So I don’t mine the resurgence. Even if I’m only catching TikTok’s seconds.

Here is an interview with one of the voices behind the sea shanty blowup. And here is one of the oldest shanty singing choirs should you want to catch a live show. Or if you fancy attending a shanty workshop then the London Sea Shanty Collective have got your back.


Doing my physical shopping locally at the moment. The smaller shops are quieter but the prices are steep. Still, it supports local stores even if they all seem to be supplied by Co-Op. Nothing against Co-Op but I’m running out of (warning, first world problem approaching) new wines to sample. I did find this sitting dusty on a shelf.

A Maule Valley Diablo from Chile. £7, worth much more. If you find it, grab it.

Online food shopping can also be quite interesting if you venture outside of the usual places. This random noodle mix came from

It’s a lucky dip with some old favourites I’ve had for years and some curveballs using what appears to be weaponised chilli.


The lego truck is finished!

It was a Christmas gift and it’s been slowly assembled since then. The app that facilitates the remote control articulates the tipper and delivers real life sounds as it drives up and down the kitchen. My daughter loves it.

Bought this Jelly Comb keyboard.

It feels well made but needs a bloody dongle. I thought it was optional. Seems lazy to me. I hate returning stuff but as nice as it is to type on, I just want it to connect directly to my laptop and not need a tiny piece of plastic that a) is not usb-c, b) is easily lost and c) is doing something the computer can already do.

I sold my bike on Ebay. It sold for only a few quid short of what i paid for it.

I need something that can handle all terrain, carry panniers and possibly tour. The single speed was fun but not practical. I have been nudged towards the Specialised Diverge. I know some of you take cycling seriously and know your stuff, but can you recommend something better? (and ideally cheaper). I’d need a 54cm frame.

The podcast posted yesterday was my first audio recorded on the Podtrak P4. For £199 it a brilliant bit of kit. All you then need are mics and headphones. As I’m billy-no-mates at the moment I just used one mic, a Rode NTG4+ and my Sennheiser HD25’s.

There was no need to read the instructions, it was simple enough right out the box. Compact and lightweight I was surprised to see only 2 AA batteries were needed for power. That’ll get you 4 hours of recording but you can also power the device with 5V USB-C. Great if you want to use external batteries or a pocket solar panel.

Four headphone outputs with individual volume controls will nicely cater for 4 people chatting. Or perhaps even 4 musicians performing.

The 4 XLR microphone inputs with phantom power have individual gain controls as well as mutes and the preamps apparently provide up to 70dB of gain.

If your guests cannot physically be with you for a recording, you can add them in remotely over a smartphone via a TRRS connection.  Or for an extra £45 grab the optional Bluetooth BTA-2 transceiver. The P4 has an integrated mix-minus feature to eliminate echo and feedback while recording calls.

The 4 sound pads are a great addition but you’ll want to swap out the cheesy presets for your own bumpers and stingers.



Thank You for reading this far. And maybe even checking out some of the links. I wish I could have linked to the colours in the sunset yesterday, or the smile on my daughters face when she told me she got a house point. That was my real news. If you get the chance, let me know yours.

TV and the Internet are good because they keep stupid people from spending too much time out in public.” ~ Douglas Coupland

Enjoy something rare.

See you out there.