So I’m not the master of timing…

In our local geocaching circles, the Geolympix 2016 has been a long time coming and has been something I have been looking forward to. As it turned out, something better has taken priority in the form of the NHS. They gave me a date of Thursday 28th July for my second cataract operation which, for me, was fantastic and not something I would postpone for anything. It’s so good to get my “proper” sight back but it’s a pity that I can’t sensibly attend the Geolympix. The hospital’s do’s & don’ts mean it’s unadvisable to risk damage or infection by going geocaching, plus there’s the issue of regular application of eye drops, etc…

So I’m reluctantly going to be missing out on this Mega Event. Once I’m “allowed out” again I fully intend to mop up all the new geocaches the Geolympix team have placed specifically for the Mega. It will be fantastic to be able to search for caches using the unbeatable “Human Eyeball Mk I” once again!

By the way, there was another special moment this evening:  an excellent overhead pass by the International Space Station which I was able to see with my newly restored vision. Haven’t seen one of those for a long while. Fan-bloody-tastic!

Anyway, in case this is the first you’ve heard, here’s a last minute plug for my dear friends’ Mega Event:

Geolympix banner

If you haven’t heard and fancy going, see these links:

The GC5XXYY cache page and the official GEOLYMPIX 2016 web site

And if you know nothing about the Geolympix or Geocaching, there’s this on the BBC.

Oh, and if you are interested in reading more about the saga of my retinal surgery, etc., you are welcome to visit my eye surgery blog, see the link towards the bottom of the sidebar under “Quite Interesting”.

 

 

The 4th Element

So this evening the oven element went U/S. Luckily we had just turned it on and hadn’t put any food in. I’ve ordered one for next day delivery so at least we will be able to cook stuff but what about the long term future of this piece of kitchen crap?

I’m not happy, TBH. The original element failed and was replaced under warranty, then that one blew last December.Now its replacement has gone. So this latest replacement will be the 4th element. Time to junk the oven for something more reliable? Or just wait for the 5th element?

5th element

Spitfire parts

I’ve been constructing more small parts for the Spitfire build. Everything starts off laser cut from flat sheets of balsa, so items thicker than that are made up by laminating 2 or more parts together. For added strength some of these laminations are cross grained. Once the glue has hardened, the part can be shaped to achieve the desired profile. For this I’ve been using a combination of modelling files, scalpel and fine glass paper.

Here are some of the items I made earlier:

small spitfire parts

From left to right: Undercarriage assembly (with the legs and wheels already shaped), Oil cooler, Air intake and Radiator. Above those are the exhaust pipes. All these have yet to be sanded to the correct shape.

The big radiator was a bit of a pig, as you can see it is curved and the flat rectangular panel has to be glued to the curved sides to create the correct shape. Of course the balsa has a natural desire to stay flat, so it has to be clamped onto the sides by hand until the glue sets. This proved impossible as for once the PVA refused to hold and the panel kept pinging off. After a couple of goes I grew impatient and resorted to using cyano adhesive. Job done!

Not shown here is the propeller assembly which has also received some attention.

I’m nearly ready for the next major milestone: covering the airframe. Can’t wait!

One binned, one recycled

Yep, the old seagate drive is kaput. Having removed it from the enclosure I had an idea. After a bit of a rummage I dug out a spare 2.5″ drive I had left over from a MacBook drive upgrade. Both that and the dud drive had the same SATA interface so I thought, why not?

10 minutes later I had a perfectly serviceable network drive ready to go. It’s nowhere near as big as the old one, either in capacity or physical dimensions, but it will come in handy as a shared drive for odd storage jobs.

Now all I have to do is take the dud one apart before it goes to the Council tip for recycling.

Moar Drive Trouble

Today I noticed that the external hard drive connected to my router was making strange noises so I powered it off. When I powered it up again it sounded like this. Oh dear.

I think this is even more terminal than the last time this drive failed with the seagate 7200.11 error, the fix for which I explained in this post. Nevertheless, I will connect it directly to my Mac just to see whether I can identify the problem, although I doubt it’s worth salvaging. I am pretty sure it is time to give this recalcitrant drive the old heave ho.

 

 

 

Too busy to cache

Well I haven’t done any caching since the middle of May. Many other things occupying my time, even including doing some interior decorating (still not completed!) which I was determined to get underway before my latest trip to the eye surgeon.

Then there has been my recent procedure to remove the cataract from my right eye, which now means I have to be careful (no poking my face into bushes in search of tupperware) and I can’t drive for a week, either. Hopefully once all this eye stuff is out of the way I can get on with some serious geocaching. Once I’ve finished the decorating…

 

No sign of Robin Hood…

Last weekend we stayed in a cabin in a forest.

cabin in the woods

We were right next to Sherwood Forest, ancient stamping ground of the legendary outlaw and wearer of green tights*, Robin Hood. Actually, we were located in a Forestry Commission forest a few miles from Sherwood itself.

It was a very peaceful location, surrounded as we were by pines. Lots of them.

a view of the pine trees

The main purpose of the break was relaxation rather than adventure. We went for lots of walks in the forest. I even managed a couple of caches.

Firstly, we went to Sherwood Forest and did the touristy thing. In the middle of Sherwood Forest is a tree called ‘Major Oak’. I think it’s supposed to date from the time of Robin, it’s certainly extremely old and needs help to stand up.

the major oak tree

Nearby was Major Oak (GC2024), a pretty old cache placed in October 2001. While the rest of the family took photos of the big tree, I set off into the woods to locate the cache. I knew it when I saw it – what a whopper!

major oak cache

The next day, our daughters went horse riding so my OH and I drove to Cresswell Crags where there is a series of geocaches. Doing the series was never going to be on the cards but I managed to pick up CCD#2: In Memorium (GC516BW). I’m always interested in anything with an aviation connection so it was good to be able to visit this memorial to this unfortunate Royal Canadian Air Force crew who died when their Wellington crashed during a training exercise. Also commemorated on the memorial is a local RAF fighter pilot.

RCAF memorial

As for the cache, I even managed to get my OH to help with the search (she even spotted it before me!) but I haven’t been able to convert her and she resolutely remains a muggle. Oh well!

 

 

* I don’t believe the green tights bit is historically accurate.

Backups

So, the other day I deleted an App from my iPhone in an attempt to fix a bug, with the idea that I would re-install the App thus fixing the bug. I then had a bit of mild panic because I couldn’t find the App in the App Store to download. Fortunately I remembered that the iPhone ‘hides’ purchased Apps so when I looked there, there it was. Phew. Unfortunately re-installing it didn’t fix the bug but that’s a different story.

The point is, whilst I was panicking, I thought I could always restore the iPhone from the iTunes backup on my Mac. Then I remembered how old that backup was. So today I backed up my iPhone and iPad to my Mac. While I was there I backed up some other key data on the iOS devices keeping those backups independent from the catch-all iTunes one.

A word about iOS backups: although you can backup your iOS device to iCloud (and it’s great that it does this automatically if you leave your device on, locked & connected to a power source), it doesn’t  backup everything (e.g. Apps!). It’s certainly worth doing a periodic iTunes backup as well.

Hint: turn on Encryption before hitting that ‘Back Up Now’ button, that way it will save all your logon credentials, saving you loads of time if/when you come to do a restore.

itbup

One more thing. Don’t forget to backup your Mac’s HDD (using Time Machine or similar).

FTF !

These days, I normally don’t react to the new cache alerts and one I received today was no exception. This is because our local FTF champions are usually on QRA and are hard to compete against.

However…

This evening Bob contacted me suggesting that a nearby cache was still unfound, so it was that a short while later we were in his car and heading towards Berkhamstead. This was a Bus Stop nano and at 21.30 we had the place to ourselves. After a short search I found the cache, something of a rarity when I’m out with Bob. A clean logbook – Yay!

That followed on nicely from yesterday, when I’d been out with Skye for a country walk. (we are both out of practice and need to build our walking up once again). We combined the walk (We? Who am I kidding, Skye doesn’t know anything about route planning) with a few local caches. 6 found and a nice walk to boot. So I’m hoping this is the start of me getting out caching a lot more this year.