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There are no ordinary lives 
Greetings from my shed...
Thank you for opening this email. Especially as I know you have so many to choose from.
It’s cool in the shed. Cool and messy.
Not long ago, I entered here and found a chewed up pencil eraser and a severed microphone cable coming from a ham radio. Something had been in here looking for food. If only it had climbed the wall and opened a small shabby-chic cabinet in the corner. It could have feasted on my secret chocolate stash and a weird packet of bacon flavoured nuts I bought in Chernobyl but was too scared to ingest.
Fearing that the rat that disappeared from the house had moved in here, my first half-baked idea was to dig out an old trap and set it. Weird how I’ll happily rescue an injured animal from the garden, or catch house mice in a bucket to relocate them, but as soon as something starts attacking the tech I immediately set about trying to destroy it.
Anyway. I made a lot of noise stomping around the shed to see if anything was still in there and then set about looking for an entry point. The only place I thought a mouse or rat could get in was via the hole my antenna cables come through. So I blocked it up and quickly forgot about the trap. That is until I was getting ready for a video call and grabbed it while tidying my desk.
I’ve often wondered what a mouse/rat trap would feel like if accidentally triggered. My curiosity is now satisfied.
Thankfully it closed round the fat part of my hand and not a finger. So apart from a sharp THWACK and a little dent in my thumb, it was not that bad.
I have since put the trap back in the garage. Where it can’t hurt human or beast.
Lots much more interesting stuff has happened this week but it has involved radio adventures and dog walking and there is only so much of that I can share before I get complaints. But don’t worry, as we batten down the hatches once again I’ll be sure to sneak it in here and there.
In the meantime...
Pretty sure I’ve linked to this device before but this video goes a little deeper. It also has me wondering, thousands of years in the future, what might people discover in the wreckage of our era.
Fascinating little video on Shipmap.org.
Could not help but think of Trump. Thankfully that soon faded.
If you are struggling to find a name for your band there is a good chance you can find one on the #GoodNameForABand Twitter hashtag.
Issue three of Branch. Take your time there is a lot to get into.
Enter LinkedIn’s alternate universe.
Coincidentally, after my hand got munched in the trap this podcast fell into my ears. A better mousetrap.
Started listening to Things fell apart - Strange tales from the culture wars by John Ronson. Stories from people involved in the defining battles across cultural lines. I.e. everything we shout at each other about on social media. I discovered this ongoing series from hearing episode 5 A Scottish Jewish joke on Radio 4. I have now caught up and recommend you have a listen. If only to remember how important it is to always question the narrative.
Here is a list of the top 50 pop songs in 1922 which along with all sound recordings prior to 1923 will become public domain in 2022. More info on PublicDomainReview.org. Not sure how many of the songs will be palatable today.
Syria’s rise in trafficking illegal drugs.
More on the drug Captagon that features above.
On the more wholesome side, I had to use up some potatoes, sweet potato and kale this week so made a spiced coconut daal.
I used olive oil, the juice of a lemon, 1 large onion, 1 red pepper, 3 garlic cloves, three small diced carrots, salt and pepper, 2tsp of ground turmeric, 1 tsp ground coriander, half a tsp of ground fennel, 2 tsp of ground cumin, a table spoon of French mustard, 1tsp garam masala 1tsp of dried ginger 1tsp of chilli powder 200grams of red lentils, half a pint of vegetable stock, one tin of coconut milk, one tin of chopped tomatoes, 5 small potatoes diced, one small sweet potato diced, some chopped fresh coriander and a handful of kale.
Sauté the onions, peppers and carrots in the oil for a few mins. Then add everything apart from the chopped coriander, kale and lemon juice to the slow cooker and cook on low for 3 hours. Finally add the chopped coriander, kale and lemon juice and cook on high for 15mins.
I sprinkled some grated almonds on and served it with home made wholemeal spelt sour dough and think this might be the best daal I’ve ever made. The family seem to think so.
I have projects that require me to use Windoze 10. So I’m going to upgrade my 12 year old, perfectly working (but slow) 15” MacBook Pro and run Windows through bootcamp. But first I need to upgrade the RAM from 4 to 8GB.
Which I tried but failed as I appear to have bought the wrong kind. Tomorrow we try again. I have another 2 modules on the way. £30 for what I hope will be a more than usable laptop. If it does work I might then upgrade the HDD to an SSD.
The problem is I’m now wondering if I can upgrade my favourite laptop of old. The 2003 12” Powerbook G4. But what can you do with a 18 year old laptop?
For a moment I thought this was some kind of suspended animation chamber that one day will enable a person to survive interstellar space travel. Or at least in the meantime allow you to sleep though the current government…
But it’s not. It’s a 3D printed suicide pod. I really don’t see the need to make it look this cool and appealing. It looks like some kind of VR fairground ride. Fine if we are in fact living in a simulation but this feels pretty real to me.
How easy do the designers want death to be? Surly it’s only a matter of time before some start-up combines this pod with an A.I. that can calculate and decide whether or not you should live or die.
Luckily autonomous killer robots are banned, right? Nope. Not yet. Hopefully the ‘Campaign to Stop Killer Robots’ can make some headway.
I hope none of you find the above kind of tech triggering. This time of year can be a dark place for many and what with the last two surreal years even more so. Please talk to someone if you feel like you can’t cope. Thankfully it seems like more people are finding the strength to talk about their feelings. This touching video shares the same advice…
I must thank those subscribers that pay $5/month to get all the content I share into this feed. Thank you. So till some time next year I’m going to pause the open-to-all version of this dispatch and have a play around with the format. Although this will mean emails will stop for those that don’t fully subscribe, it does mean I can post some more experimental stuff into this feed. I’m hoping that supporters will humour me as deliver up something different. :-)
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If you really would like to keep getting these emails but are unable to pay right now, let me know. Or ask Santa. Although he is probably a tad too busy to check email at the moment.
Climber finds some interesting rocks on Mont Blanc.
What is legal now but likely to be illegal in 1-2 years?
Do you use dictation on your Mac? If not this handy video should show you how. If you are a Windows 11 user I think you also have decent auto punctuation now.
I followed the weather this week on Windy.com
The FBI can now force people to unlock their smartphones, tablets or PCs with biometrics.
Portugal becomes the fourth EU country to close it’s coal fired power stations.
It’s not even real Covid – it’s like a cheap internet pirate copy.
Thanks for reading.
For some of you there might be sporadic posts over the next few weeks. For others this is farewell till next year.
Till then, stay safe and don’t worry about what you can’t control. We feel deprived of so much but there is little that we really need. Each moment can still be rich with wonder. Especially if we live it fully.
“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” ~ Mark Twain
See you out there.