Running with a poo bag [247]

Greetings from my shed...

Hi everyone, you getting out much?

I’m still smiling at strangers in the street. I hope they know that.

This email is going out to over 2000 people. Last week’s email only made it to around 400, so if you missed it you can find it here.


Morning for me is normally a manic blur of breakfasting and packed lunch assembly. But occasionally, when the planets align, I’m allowed short lycra clad forays into the dawn streets.

[Tell a lie, as my current physique resembles that of Pablo Escobar shortly before he was shot on a roof, I’m opting for the baggier ‘Ron Hill’ look.]

The dog needs treats to coax her sleepy body into a trot. While I attempt I jog alongside, arm out, loosely holding her lead. The mild morning allows me a sweaty back as I scan the path for wet leaves. My sworn enemy. It was one of their kind that ended my 374 day continuous running streak.

Everything speeds up for squirrels and pheasants and grinds to a halt if the dog wants to check her peemail.

But sporadic bursts are more than welcome in my current condition. At one point I managed a mile and a half without being dragged into a hedge. It felt like I was back running again.

I managed to get a bit of amateur radio time in this week and clocked up my 25th country contact. The list in order reads England / Scotland / Spain / Czech Rep / Finland / Russia / Lithuania / Slovenia / Italy / Germany / Austria / Wales / France / Serbia / Denmark / Netherlands / Canada / Slovakia / Austria / Luxembourg / Belgium / Ukraine / USA / Latvia / Switzerland. All contacts were made on what is effectively a piece of wire strung down the garden and powered by less energy it takes to light an incandescent bulb. No idea how much energy is used to send an email but I’m pretty sure it’s less efficient than this. The plan is to clock up more countries contacted than my age. I still have a fair way to go.


I watched a chunk of video this week. An awkward animation was one.

This long but fascinating video features the work of Professor Marshall McLuhan who observed that ‘the Medium is the Message’. Video sent by @GeoGeller.

Once we have surrendered our senses and nervous systems to the private manipulation of those who would try to benefit from taking a lease on our eyes and ears and nerves, we don't really have any rights left.” ~ Marshall McLuhan

Asteroid mining in a nutshell…

If you would like to up your video conferencing game try this Four Seasons Total Landscaping virtual background.

Or try this if you have your meetings in VR.

I posted a great interview with Claudio Von Planta on the Hells Nerds site. (Thanks to newest member Christian Hambly for help building the site. If you’re a UK biker and would like to join the club let me know.

Now put your apophenic gaze on hold and watch this. (Although it is NSFW)


The title of this email comes from a future book I’ll never write that features exercises you can do during a lockdown. Including: Running to the door to check for post, the 6Music rock stance, the kettle lift and the cork pull.

Other books I will never write include: ‘Killing the procrastinator inside you’ and ‘How to meet a deadline - Every time!’.

Dispatch subscriber Stephan Caspar has a new newsletter entitled ‘The spaces in between’. Check it out to see if it is something you might like to subscribe to. Especially if you’re looking for something to help you with your teaching and research.

Ever wonder what a TV detector van might look like? Thankfully Matt Locke has been researching them.


I have been binge listening to the podcast Digital Planet. I’m a long time listener but ham radio has my ears most of the time. Check it out if you don’t already.

A little known fact about the show is that 50% of the brains behind it are supporting subscribers to this email. That’s @GarethM (M7GJM) and @Billt. All I need now are @GBoddington and @angelicamari to join the club. Oh and you. Yes I know you have been on the fence for a while but if you could spare a few quid a month to support this email it would inspire me to continue to put in the time and effort. Maybe even make it better. ;-) Click here to reap the benefits.

I was excited to see Zoom Corp have announced what might be the world’s smallest and most affordable 32bit float field recorder. The Zoom F2.

Think of a 32bit float audio recorder as capturing an audio file with a high enough ‘resolution’ that you can pretty much record at any gain (above 0) and you’ll get audio you can work with. So just hit record and go. The distorted peaks or quiet bits can be normalised to give quality audio at a decent level. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on this to see how the USB-C connectivity might work with iOS workflows. Check back here in December.

AudioKit have a another cool app out.

The AR 909 drum-machine. I’ve only had a couple of days to play with it but it’s proving to be as intuitive and well designed as their other apps.


This is the coffee grinder I have used daily for the last eight years.

Back then the Porlex Mini cost me £25. Today it costs £75 on Amazon. But if mine broke I would not hesitate paying that. It’s a lovely bit of kit.

We eat a lot of rice. Probably because I make a variety of spicy dishes.

Yet I bought this sack of the stuff over a month ago and we’ve hardly made a dent in it. I swear it’s magic. No more small bags. When this runs out mid 2022 I’ll buy the same again.


There are some great iPhone 12 reviews out there but little for me to get excited about. Any improvement on my current 11Pro is minimal.

As regards the other releases. Hmmm… the new Apple chip offers improved speed and battery life but I doubt i’ll ever buy another MacMini again. The last one I bought suffers bluetooth issues. Apple were less than helpful.

Although my laptop is four years old I’d rather update my ageing iPad. The latest iPad Air has a much better front facing camera than any new Mac laptop, so my guess is Apple will drop an update to those quicker than expected.

If you liked the Punkt MP01 or MP02 dumb-phones but they just weren’t expensive enough for you — you’ll love this.

The Xor Titanium can send and receive calls and texts (just like a £20 phone) for the mere price of £3000.

Ok, i’ll give it some credit, when all other phones are watching your every move, this one will keep your evil business dealings ‘private’ by enabling encrypted calls from one XorTi to another.

That is providing you have a 2 or 3G cell tower (which will still locate you) near your secret hollowed-out volcano base.

In edition to this it will also measure the air quality. Should someone be trying to assassinate you with poison gas.



That’s it. You made it. Thanks for reading.

There’s a ‘like’ button somewhere on this page. To save energy I’ve set it to work for both like & dislike. You know what to do.

Next week… Who knows.

I don't necessarily agree with everything that I say.” ~ Marshall McLuhan

Smile with your eyes.

See you out there.