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The rona persona 
Greetings from the sofa...
I predict long periods of inaction over the next two days…
…Unlike last weekend which was action packed. I was away with friends in the middle of nowhere on the Norfolk/Suffolk border. It was a birthday party with a fancy dress karaoke bolt-on. Couldn’t fit my main bike in the car but there was space for the Brompton. Having ridden it on all sorts of terrain for over 11 years without incident I quickly found out the little wheels did not get on with manure covered tracks.
I landed heavily on my knee and have been munching ibuprofen all week. I managed the last couple of miles back to the house but have not ridden since. I’ll wait till I can walk without a limp.
I have been able to drive though. Got a new lease car. Having never had a new car. This is my second in a year. The Kia turned out to to cost a lot more a month than we’d budgeted for so we managed to swap it for this.
This is a lot cheaper a month but I’m realising I was really spoiled with the Kia E-Nero. It was the most fully spec’d car I’ve ever driven. This far more affordable and simpler VW ID3 is certainly growing on me though. Less range but more than enough for my current driving. Less driver assist, but that means I can drive more and be driven less. Less up front storage so i’ll certainly need to minimise my in-car junk. No 12V plug only USB-Cs. Love having four USB-Cs and wireless charging with seamless Apple CarPlay but WHERE AM I GOING TO PLUG IN MY HAM RADIO! I also can’t attach an aerial to the boot hatch as it has a plastic spoiler. I’m not surprised that radio operators weren’t consulted in the making of this car. We are a niche breed. But it looks like cyclists weren’t either. No idea if the car can take roof bars to carry a bike but I did see a pricy tow-bar bike rack being touted. Got no tow-bar though.
I think that’s the most ‘first world problems’ I’ve ever managed to squeeze in one paragraph. I do know how very lucky I am to even have a car. Let alone an electric one. If we downsize again it will be to purchase a small second hand electric model as it would be very hard to drive ICE again. Unless there are no electric camper vans. Or if I find out just how much spying is going on behind the dashboard. There are certainly more than enough enough software updates.
Earlier in the week I had a coffee with Adrian Storey and we decided to pool our skills to offer full service video production.
Nothing too big or too small. Anything from social video posts up to full blown documentaries. We will also offer video editing with the full range of deliverables. All sizes, formats and resolutions up to 4k, as well captions and motion graphics.
Should this be something you are interested in get in touch. Also let me know if you are a supporting subscriber of this dispatch so I can discount my services for you.
Sharbat Gul, the famous green eyed ‘AfGan Girl’ photographed by Steve McCurry in 1984 for National Geographic Magazine has been evacuated from Afghanistan to Italy.
The theme of this short film stays the same throughout but the subject changes at 10 minutes.
I miss not being included in EU stats so I added us here.
My good friend Geo (whom I love dearly) keeps asking me if he should mint some of his immense body of art into NFTs. Personally I think he is going to learn more about NFT’s from actually minting one and not asking me about them. I know very little.
I am fully aware that money is changing hands for all kinds of weird shit in the world and although have never bought an NFT, I have paid for many an experience and surely at a base level, this is the same.
Not only do buyers have the experience of chucking some cash at a story. They also have the repeated ‘bragging rights’ of stating that a particular digital object ‘belongs’ to them.
Some people get off on that. Plus if someone else is also interested in that digital thing, the owner might also find themselves able to pass it on for profit.
I guess my feelings on the outside looking in might be different should I have a portfolio of minted digital things in my possession. I do have some NFT’s that Jeff Pulver sent me. No idea what to do with them though.
What I’m trying not to do is fall victim to my already over active FOMO and succumb to the lure of 'untold riches'. Riches that most likely do not lie around the corner.
Although I did just go and see if there was any DeFi or stock I could buy that has the name $FOMO.
I must thank RØDE for sending me a preview of their AI-Micro. This is a formidable little device considering its weight, size and $79 price tag.
Of course I’m already familiar with their lav mics for mobile and dedicated recorders but the AI-Micro audio interface is a brand new dual-channel audio interface that recognises what you plug in and can connect any microphone with a 3.5mm connector to both computers and mobile devices. I had a little play earlier in the week and my initial findings have already put this device firmly in my bag of ‘essential kit’. I don’t have the space to list all the features here but this video will quickly bring you up to speed. Suffice to say this audio multi tool will enable pro audio to be easily captured on most if not all mobile, laptop or desktop devices.
I often use a phone for audio recording but there are also benefits to capturing audio on a dedicated device:
Better pre-amps mean richer sound
Better battery life, often with replaceable batteries
Your phone is not tied up in one task
It’s easier to monitor, recordings
You can record for longer
Here are some of the recorders i’m currently using.
Really pleased to be collaborating with friend, musician and sound artist Laica on a one-off cassette tape for my Audiocaching project. Everything on is so far has been recorded with Zoom recorders. They didn’t ask. It just turned out that way. Shame that don’t do blank tapes. I’ll release the location in the supporter email.
Blame Adele for vinyl record delays.
I’ve shared my thoughts on ‘use by dates’ vs ‘sell by dates’ before. But I’ll be honest I’m struggling to get my head around the numbers in this particular story.
Imagine a bison being attacked and killed by an ancient American Lion (Panthera Leo Atrox) to then lie frozen for 50,000 years before being discovered by gold miners.
Despite lying in the ground 44,000 years longer than human history as we know it, it came out so well preserved that palaeontologist Dale Guthrie thought he’d have a portion of it for dinner with friends.
So what does a 50,000-year-old bison stew taste like? Delicious apparently.
Zero emission whisky? Yes please! I heard about this a little while ago as friend of mine (and dispatch reader) has been involved in the Bruichladdich Distillery project. There are a few distilleries involved some using next generation tech. I very much welcome the first hydrogen fired bottles of whisky created at an industrial scale. In fact i’m going to toast to it’s success right now :-) [slurp]
Midland, the famous makers of Citizens Band radios have made an app so you don’t need to have a CB radio to chat with CBers.
While away I got to simultaneously test out a hot tub and try out how waterproof my new Kindle was. It’s waterproof.
Nice to think that no matter where you are, in whatever extreme conditions, masses of data can safely be stored on a digital device. All I need now is an EMP proof kindle case to protect my future vocation as a wandering sage. I’m only half joking. Although after a quick search for EMP protection for a Kindle the prepper types look like they are on it.
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It’s early days regarding this newly discovered strain of coronavirus. “There’s a lot we don’t understand about this variant” So let’s not freak out yet. You’re already doing all you can to protect yourself and those around you. Arn’t you?
Apple look to sue the creators of state-sponsored surveillance technology. this is huge if they follow through with this.
Thoughts on how the pandemic accelerated the death of privacy.
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Should you need a little exercise at work.
Next week I have meetings with potential clients, meetings with whisky loving friends, an anniversary and the BBC Sounds amazing Conference.
Let me know if you’d like to sponsor this despatch (over 2000 readers). Or better still if you’d like to join the 149 who support it with a few quid a month.
Either way, thanks for reading this far. Great to know you’re there.
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds to plant.”
~ Robert Louis Stevenson
See you out there.