Alton Towers… Again!

You’d think I was addicted to the place, but Gaz and I traveled there again yesterday for the day.

We managed to ride 17 coasters including 5 rides on Smiler, 4 on Wicker Man, 3 on Nemesis, 2 on Galactica and 1 on each of Th13teen, Oblivion and RITA; plus the obligatory ride on Duel.

We missed out Spinball and Runaway Mine Train on this occasion.

Amazingly we did over 22,000 steps each – contributed to by the fact we didn’t use the monorail this time.

Who wore it better?

Although it’s an absolutely terrible film, this guy was the one who made me realise that three piece suits could be leather.

I saw him in it when he was in the audience at a celebrity comedy event – the host commented on it and he said it was costume from “Spice World – The Movie”.

Of course I admired him in it very much and decided that I would own such an item.

Well it took me a few years, but eventually I did “the look”.

I’m not quite sure who suits it better though?

A bloody hefty weekend!

Again a hefty weekend. It all started on Thursday when I did my talk for the Astronomy Club. It was called “Take it to the bridge” and was all about movie and game fictional space craft and if their technology could work.

Friday was a long day of fixed wire electrical testing. A seven board job with poor paperwork so I had to do a major investigation.

The journey home was a two hour slog due to major traffic problems across the county after a fatal accident at junction 34 to 35 on the M1.

The planned Rock the 80’s rehearsal for that night didn’t happen as you can probably guess.

Saturday was Hannah’s auntie’s 70th down in Oxford.

I wore white jeans. Then I remembered why I don’t often wear white jeans! Mucky arse!

After arriving home at after 9pm and going to bed later than planned I had to get up the following morning for the Strangefish rehearsal. 7:30am on a Sunday is quite painful…

Arriving in Bury for 10 we spent most of the day running through the new songs, plus we introduced three additional faces to the band – a couple who will be joining us onstage in July, plus Jake our sound engineer who will be sorting us out!

It was a hot sweaty day. We ate cake. We rehearsed. We went home.

“I lost my phone”

I often see the phrase “I lost my phone” or “my phone was stolen” on Facebook, and I sigh a little when they then tag on “lost loads of photos of my xxx who died earlier this year”.

Precious moments eh?

So, essentially, you’re telling me that you keep all your precious family photos in the equivalent of a photo album you take everywhere with you? And you never think to take a copy of them? Or back them up?

Sorry if I sound intolerant, but there’s a hard lesson here for the person who loses such a device.

Here’s my top tips to have this NOT happen to you.

1. Lock it. Secure it. Encrypt it. A secure lock – fingerprints, with a good strong pin. You can set most new devices to require a pin on bootup. You can even get many to display a message on bootup such as “Stolen from…”. That’s the resale value immediately killed.

2. Make sure it’s registered with your carrier. If it’s a carrier locked device such as one provided by them it’s fairly easy, but if it’s a PAYG device you can still register it. If it’s stolen you can then get it activation blocked and added to a stolen device register which again kills the resale value.

3. Track it – turn on tracking services and find my device services. With most devices you can locate it within a few metres. You can also make it ring at full volume even if it’s locked and muted. Better still, some devices can now be forced to take photos from both cameras and send them to you. Handy if a thief happens to be staring into it at the time.

4. Sync it with a cloud backup service. Most manufacturers provide something of this nature. Google does it for Android. Don’t forget also to turn on sync in Google photos. That way you’ll always have a backup of your camera roll. If you have enough data then why not set it to back up immediately? Half way through a precious wedding and you drop your phone? You’ll probably find every single photo already backed up!

5. Remember it’s just a phone – the most important one – if it gets stolen at an event, it’s inconvenient; but if you can hard lock it within a few minutes using a friend’s phone then don’t risk trying to find it there and then. A thief can become violent if approached, after all, they’re dumb enough to go around stealing what in essence is a mobile tracking device with GPS and ID services built in, and provided you’ve done all the right steps it’ll have 24 bit encryption so they can’t be too bright.

The Old and the New

My new Galaxy Note 9 arrived.

My 18 month Galaxy Note 8 has served me very well and is a device I very much love, but a few features of the Galaxy Note 9 really sold it to me.

  • Bigger battery – less battery anxiety.
  • Bluetooth stylus – great for selfies
  • Dockless DeX – I use DeX loads!

I’ve noticed the bigger battery, although mostly because it takes a hell of a lot longer to charge. As for the DeX – that’s amazing. I’ve already ordered more cables. Actually the biggest annoyance with the DeX docks is actually having to remove your case to dock the phones – a little extra length on the USB C port would have stopped this being a problem.

So far, I love it. It really does feel like the Note 8 perfected.

As for the Galaxy Watch I also got, again, I love it. It’s the same as my old one, but smaller.

It seems to look more like a regular watch on my wrist, unlike the 46mm version which looks too big. This is more like the old Galaxy Gear 2 which I loved so much. The only downside is the battery life is nowhere near as good, but that isn’t helped by this one being 4G, so not only have I taken the battery hit from the smaller battery, but also from the 4G radio.

In other news, Jake got his first PVC jeans after I persuaded him… He’s the type of person who will really carry the look well.

Yet again… ASOS.

Great gig!

It has to be said that Saturday’s gig was probably one of the best we’ve ever played! The crowd were brilliant and really up for it. The venue was a nice place and we played so well. Tight and sounding great. We’ve since had a few posts go online and a review which always makes it feel worthwhile. We’re still on 100% verified 5* ratings.

It was the hottest gig in ages. The suit in the first set was dripping by the end. I’m glad I remembered to take a second suit though – I always remember at weddings (strictly it was a vow renewal) that there will be at least 3 cobalt blue suits in the audience. You don’t want to look like the guests do you?

It was a 10:30 finish for us, although Jake couldn’t finish DJing until half past 11 so we broke down the stage whilst he finished off and got all the cases ready to go, and then whilst the guys loaded the van I packed down the PA and wrapped all the speaker cables.