Isolation: How will you pass the time?

Rory

Senior Member.
I wonder if I'd have lived any differently the past 18 months if Covid hadn't happened? What with generally being quite hermetic and not really into venturing into the world anyways.

During that time I've lived in two different places in Mexico, both with populations of about 30 people and pretty much untouched by the pandemic so I haven't generally noticed it. Though I did venture out say 5 or 6 times and so have worn a mask on a few occasions at least.

Anyway, when in the place that has internet I've primarily been passing the time involving myself in Classic Tetris. I got into it at the tail end of my flat earth days in January 2019 - like FE, also suggested by the dreaded YouTube algorithm - and I suppose likewise in common with FE I at first thought it strange and daft, but got sucked in anyway.

This obsession/compulsion has manifested in a few ways: number one, getting involved with the 'community' (generally nicer people than those I found in flat earth); number two, getting better at the game and slowly making my way towards a 'maxout' (that is, scoring a million points and seeing the scoreboard 'freeze' at 999,999 - ten years ago only four people had done this, despite the game being around since 1985, and even three years ago, after it became somewhat popular again, there were still only fifty 'maxouters' (if I make it I will be by far the oldest)); and, number three, I inadvertantly stumbled into creating a ratings system and records database for the competitive scene which, despite some opposition and doubt in the beginning, is now pretty much widespread and was used quite a lot at last year's world championships. It's based on Elo - though modified - and runs via a series of Google Sheets spreadsheets all connected by the marvellous IMPORTRANGE function which really makes the whole thing possible.

If you have any interest at all, you can see the ratings here (I'm currently #269 out of 467 active players; the full match database here (contains over 21,000 matches featuring 1075 players; two years ago there were barely 1200 matches); and a high score chart here (I'm #334 out of 1095, just got a new pb of 983,982 last week).

My understanding of spreadsheet workings - which started with flat earth equations - has really gone into overdrive. Basically from a list of names, match results and dates an extraordinary number of things can be calculated and presented, and it's all pretty much automated. I even made a 'virtual player' that simulates a spreadsheet-based opponent's scores in real time. Probably pretty straightforward in something like python (of which I have no understanding) but getting Sheets to increment a score every few seconds at the right pace took a bit of creative thinking.

I also wrote three books and published one and a half of them (ie, the paperback for one is still in process).

That all perhaps feels like something but personally I don't really feel like I've been doing very much at all (have pretty much run out of ideas). The Tetris obsession won't last forever and, once/if I get the maxout, I'll probably feel ready to leave it behind and let someone else run the ratings system, job done. It's lasted almost as long as my involvement in flat earth and I'm sure I'll be glad to move on. I'm reminded of Scottish comedian Limmy's reformed junky Jacqueline McCafferty. To paraphrase:

jm meme.JPG

I wonder what will happen next...
 

obiwanbenobi

Active Member
@Rory i have gradually been teaching myself python. as far as programming languages go it is not that difficult at the basic level. if you've been able to figure out spreadsheet formulas you could probably figure out python.

beyond the basic level, there are some aspects and terminology which are harder for me to figure out, but i am persistent for an old dog. :)
 

Rory

Senior Member.
I've primarily been passing the time involving myself in Classic Tetris. I got into it at the tail end of my flat earth days in January 2019 - like FE, also suggested by the dreaded YouTube algorithm - and I suppose likewise in common with FE I at first thought it strange and daft, but got sucked in anyway.

[So I've been] getting better at the game and slowly making my way towards a 'maxout' (that is, scoring a million points and seeing the scoreboard 'freeze' at 999,999 - ten years ago only four people had done this, despite the game being around since 1989, and even three years ago, after it became somewhat popular again, there were still only forty 'maxouters'.

PS A little over two weeks ago I became the oldest person ever to 'maxout' on NES Tetris. It was pretty cool.
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
PS A little over two weeks ago I became the oldest person ever to 'maxout' on NES Tetris. It was pretty cool
Before I retired I had the company Minesweeper record. Not much to brag on, but hey, it still felt good. I was into Tetris for a while but I kept losing sleep. :)
 

Rory

Senior Member.
As isolation continues and now that my Tetris goal has been accomplished I've moved on to finally getting around to recording a bunch of songs I wrote around twenty years ago. Tried many times over the decades but because of my inability to program drums I always gave up. Luckily my girlfriend has a Mac and I've suddenly realised that the Garageband drummer is TERRIFIC.

PS Please let me know when lockdown/isolation is over, I haven't been watching the news. ;)
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
Since this thread is alive again, I'll just drop these here: One of my projects while travel was dead and festivals were all canceled, I built a couple of kite kits -- a handful of whales and just last week a new dolphin that has not flown yet. These do not lift themselves much, but fly under a "pilot kite" higher up the line. Whales are about 9 feet long, these come as "sew it yourself" kits from a company in New Zealand
 

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NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
So, is that dolphin hitting some sort of "dolphin kite" uber-bong in an effort to get "high"? :D I'm killing myself!

1663379012916.png

Seriously, had I known you had these, I would have bought some to take out to BurningMan. God knows there was enough wind!
 

Stewart Kay

Member
I did skim Metabunk but in the quarantine never joined (bad i know!)
Unexplained mysteries i did Frequent alot.
ATS or was myriad of reading in its days.
(*Caution Laungage Swearing Profanie words*)

Then the football stopped in the UK so i started watching football films.
"The Football Factory" watched many a time, together with some belting soundtracks
for example:
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbjf2Qmog2U

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqTjUBR-NPQ


Now this is the HIres of the track used in the bar scene,

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjP1euTPkg4


Maybe im still out of my mind but i had my early Birthday today. My small family pulled it forward as did not want to celebrate 19th (i did not to) Presents were amazing - Im going Flying from Church Stretton <WOW!
So unexpected beyond words can say!
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
Green Street maybe the one you thinking of Dave? Thats 'Soccer'
I'm not going to watch the whole movie.

I'm just saying, if the other videos are about a bunch of Euro dudes running around in their shorts for untold hours kicking a ball while faking injuries and failing to score few if any points over the course of 2+ hours, that's not Football. It's Soccer.;)
 

Stewart Kay

Member
No, no i was not wishing the whole movie, was the late 90's early 00's those films got produced no where near the hike of UK football violance late 70s to 80's, now that was bad.
Just a bit of fun to take out the time of being indoors for so long remonicing!

As for super mariocart i blazed the hell out of that on the Nin 64, also there was a old game called Tachyon The Fringe made by Novalogic tryed so hard, months to get it to run on win 7 to no avail, that was ace online if anyone remembers?
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
I've been watching MHz Choice mysteries on line, with subtitles. I'm becoming more proficient (but still not very good) at French and Italian, but have completely given up on learning Swedish!
 

Rory

Senior Member.
I'm just saying, if the other videos are about a bunch of Euro dudes running around in their shorts for untold hours kicking a ball while faking injuries and failing to score few if any points over the course of 2+ hours, that's not Football. It's Soccer.

It's both soccer and football. What you're talking about is correctly termed 'American football'. :cool:
 

Stewart Kay

Member
Things was / are difficult, its good to see everyone got to gether, pity i missed the peak but ide say is ok to still chat about it.
I wish i had joined in eairler times.
I never had the covid virus, and been 3 times for vac.
 

Stewart Kay

Member
And, there was the Pet Shop Boys,

Left To My Own Devices.​

If it was not hard enough.
Nice track tho 33 rpm
On the techinics 1200, vynil
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTqZ6oRrpVA

Always reminds me of the 80s with a tape player, walkman, when i walked the dog in the rain in december, when youth club had disco, and i was not invited.

All the top class was there, i walked by with my dog listening to music.
when i learned to mix technichs 1210s everyone liked me strange ay? I ripped the club there after!

I DJ' 2 years after that with a radio station too early 2000's
trance FM long gone lol

the song sums me up.
I do prefer vynil to digital , dont you?

And the days of lockdown, when i could not do nothing, i listend to vynil,

(crapped up tyops sorry)
 
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NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
I do prefer vynil to digital , dont you?
As a "tweener" (born the last year of the baby boomers 1964 and grew up more of a Gen Xer) and someone who grew up with vinyl, I would say categorically, Hell No! My younger millennial/gen z son collects vinyl, and I don't get it at all. Aside from the cover art, what is the fascination?

Vinyl is bulky, heavy and very delicate. It warps in the heat and scratches if you look at wrong. Vinyl fans always talk about how "warm" the sound is. I guess. If you find the physical sound of the needle actually bouncing along the groove along with all the dust, dirt, deformations and scratches a "warm" sound, then I can't argue with you. Yes, many albums were NOT remastered for digital before being offered that way, affecting the sound, but that's a technical issue.

In addition, a vinyl playing device (record player) is much larger than a CD player and infinitely larger than a digital storage device. Try taking a record player in the car or on a hike. And it's a sequential storage medium, meaning, after this song comes this song, even if the next song sucks, one is stuck listening to it, unless one wants to pick up the needle and try to set it down on the song they want to hear.

I believe I just ranted :D .
 

Rory

Senior Member.
To tie two things in, I had the Monkey theme tune on 7" vinyl and took it to the school disco when I was about 7 or 8 or 9. Pretty sure not many people danced.

Was a big fan of Star Fleet back in the day too - I may be wrong but I think it was one of those rare kids' shows where someone dies. Really very good (I also suggested to a friend who does that sort of thing to buy the DVD rights).
 
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Stewart Kay

Member
Yes, try lugging two technics 1210s, several flightcases of records, a generator, petrol, amplifiers and speakers up into the depth of the Welsh mountains aka blue Lake, in the 90s for a rave.
It was done! Over several years. This was before digital media, cds scratched too easy I was always careful with my vynil, Stanton cartrages were the best.

I would still love a valve amplifier.
I sold all but kept a few records I have after splitting with ex to make things meet.
It's not the overall sound, it's seeing it working, like a cassette player.
Look at a mp3 playing vs a record, or even a live performance. The latter is analogue.
 

tinkertailor

Senior Member.
I've become obsessed with making the perfect home pizza. Since we're all sharing our nerdiness, here's my current pizza formula:
  • Whole wheat, from-scratch pizza dough
  • White sauce (scratch tastes better and leftovers become an excellent pasta sauce the next day, when mixed with pasta water)
  • Mozzarella cheese (the kind you buy in a block and grate yourself)
  • Provolone cheese
  • Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Pesto (dollops on top of cheese)
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Mushrooms
  • Something green (fresh basil, kale, spinach; put on pizza ~2 min before taking out)
Put in 500 degree oven until done, baked on a preheated pizza stone. Allow exactly 4 minutes to cool, then shower with cheap parmesan from a bottle and cut. Reheat leftovers in a skillet on medium heat, covered with lid to melt cheese.

Every day brings me closer to being one of those people with a $4000 home pizza oven and goats to make cheese with.
 

captancourgette

Active Member
Monkey Magic was another, its way out there but off my head in the times was wachable <if thats a word?
That and the Goodies, simply the best 2 TV shows.
Heads up, about a decade or so ago they released about 10 new monkey episodes that never saw the light of day in the 80s due to the censors banning them at the time, I think they got the original voice english actors in to dub the parts also
 

Oystein

Senior Member
...
Vinyl is bulky, heavy and very delicate. It warps in the heat and scratches if you look at wrong.
To add: Rare is the vinyl player that runs at the precisely correct speed. Try playing along on guitar to a Led Z song that's running 1.5% too fast or slow! (Then again, recording and mastering devices back in those days were analogue and often did not run at the correct speed, so many of those classic recordings are noticably off the regular "A = 440 Hz" tuning.)
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
Every day brings me closer to being one of those people with a $4000 home pizza oven and goats to make cheese with.
For 1/2 that cost you could go with a Kamado style cooker, like a Kamado Joe or Big Green Egg. Put a pizza stone in one, stoke the fire and you'll have something real close to a built-in oven.

1663607604583.png

For even less, you can go with an Ooni. They come in different sizes and fuels. The propane is the easiest to control but the wood fired is more authentic. We have the tiny one called a Frye that uses the wood pellets made for Traeger type smokers, so it's an actual wood fired little oven, big enough for a 10" or so pizza. About $300-$400.

Steep learning curve though. I've burned 'um and had 'um come out undercooked or just coated in black smoke. But when it works it's fantastic. You have to use the Ooni dough recipe though, anything else we've tried just doesn't work. And yes, Nor Cal looks like the UK today, all overcast and raining.

IMG_3921.jpeg

I would still love a valve amplifier.
That's another one of those things that I guess a small select few people can hear the difference. For guitar amps, yes tubes did have a sound, but even then, it was mostly when they were overdriving. Tube amps distorted better than solid state, but no one wants to listen to distorted music.

I have a '90s era Crate all tube amp my wife got me for Xmas one year. I need to go dig it out along with a guitar somewhere and listen to it again. While it was true 30 years ago, I know software emulators have come a long way now.

Part Express in the US offers a number of hybrid amps with tubes in the pre-amp section for ~$200. I'm not sure what that is in quid.

1663608260097.png
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
For 1/2 that cost you could go with a Kamado style cooker, like a Kamado Joe or Big Green Egg. Put a pizza stone in one, stoke the fire and you'll have something real close to a built-in oven.
Or you can do what I do: light my circa-1948 gas oven with a match and relax while the pizza cooks to perfection.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
I know software emulators have come a long way now.

It's ridiculous. I'm doing my recording using a Baby Taylor acoustic with ten year old strings (sometimes into a headphone mic) and the emulators on Garageband make it sound like full on stonking grunge.
 
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Stewart Kay

Member
Well what a day, at least here in the UK.
Tearful yes, im human, who cant shed one from time to time, my Birthday too. Also in respect to my mom, whom passed on flowers in the early 50's to the queen corination when in Wolverhampton (we have the black and white slides)
I wont shed a tear for that, but the passing of the Queen i did pass a few.
In great respect to all involved.
I hope overseas members here got to view it?
 

Stewart Kay

Member
And 33 pitch is noted on sprecto left bottom of the plate on the turn table, note the bubble holds, if take it above plus its 45, (or the button) and the spec goes.
I know my technics. The V2 best,! Direct Drive turn table. e one in the video is a V4 i think, hence the rewind and plus x2 option.

So going back to above.
Is it better to See, as a sound moving or just a snapshot of the track you are watching?

Example Brian May's Red Special

Guitar solo Wembly 86
Would you like to view or just see a timestamp on mp3? srub the digital!
Note the crowd, if only i was a few years older i would of been there!

Naa i just l saw it live on the tv, mono DECCA colour tv poor speaker mom an dad had it on 10 for volume i remember it like live aid!

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4vVOYNX2Q0


Its late i know.
 
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Ann K

Senior Member.
I hope overseas members here got to view it?
It was live on line in many different broadcasts, and repeated through the day, so I saw most of it but in a rather disjointed fashion. (Dentist's appointment in the middle of the live feed.) I'm old enough to have seen her coronation, so as an ex-pat it felt right to see her funeral too.

A sad birthday for you, but you'll never forget the date. Best wishes.
 

Stewart Kay

Member
Astronomy too.
Did anyone take time in looking to the stars?
I did.
The star constellations.
Do you know them?
I read it from a BOOK by Sir Patrick Moore, in my young age.
----
Obs:
Binoculars 8 x 50 milky way, flat on your back!
Moon in Cresent as you know is well, i wont go there it is alwasys nice to see.
Poor scope i know but
Meade 90, it passed my time. 30mm, 20mm 5mm plossil Eyepice, 2x Barlo lens's

Currently I'm back yard viewing Jupiter, Its moons has some good views and 'The Eye'
Saturn too be it south of rooftops out back - hopefull my disripectful neigbours dont turn on the 1.21 gigs of light thats very irrirating then i can view at least the severn siters,as i type i hear tawny owl and the fox's calling, nice!
And now my cat has come ito the house, with a mouse. All good fun
(Ps sorry for the edits)
 

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