A lot has happened since I existed only on the pages of www.ChristianPayne.com It was the first website i built with my bare keyboard that didn’t look like it was born in the early 90’s.
As it was a showcase for my photography I found myself continually updating it till I discovered that I could just link buttons to certain pages of my Flickr account. When i updated my Flickr account my website would be updated as well. That made things a hell of a lot easier and I could now just forget about web design and concentrate on media making. And i did.
For years. Lots of years.
Still, I do lots of other stuff now and although I have never really used ChristianPayne.com since OurManInside.com and Documental.ly hit the scene, I didn’t want to just retire it. It still hosts countless other websites and in the basis for my main email address.
When I thought about what I wanted on it I must have thought for about two minutes. Thinking I don’t have an issue with. I can rustle up ideas with very little effort. It’s making those ideas leave my head that requires work.
On this occasion I wanted a site that if someone accidentally stumbled upon it, it would look like a moving business card. Just a load of floating avatars on the screen. In fact I think that is the exact brief I cave to @RichardMackney. “Can you make me a site that is just a load of floating avatars that link to some of the spaces I occupy online?”
And that’s what he did. In no time at all.. I mean seriously, It seemed like only an hour had passed since i tweeted him to me getting a link in a tweet on my phone showing me some iphone friendly moving avatars that actually linked to my online places.
I won’t go on about how Richard makes all of this seem so simple. If you know him you now what it is he does. If not.. Then get to know him. @RichardMackney
So out of a brief twitter conversation, I now have a website reborn. I know it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.. Still, I like it and Richard even made a static page for those that don’t want chase icons round the screen.. http://Documentally.com
I love these kinds of connections. Short conversations on twitter that turn into spontaneous collaborations that can end who knows where.
People go to Tuttle to meet, to catch up, to talk business, to use others as a soundboard and in some cases to exercise their creative glands.. No matter how surreal.
This is what makes the Tuttle Club different to a meeting in the pub. This freedom to freeform, to explore, to be a silly or as serious as you want to be.
It was the creation of little videos like this that led me to work in partnership with @BennyCrime and the British Council documenting their cultural relations work in Pakistan.
Content rarely comes out of the Tuttle club that is shared and talked about outside of the attendees itself. When it does, it is in the shape of an audioboo or a video like this. Last week was great fun and I hope more people get playful and serious (whatever is needed) to ensure these collaborative spaces like The Centre for Creative Collaboration crop up all over the place.
OK, so I have not had my bike a week and i’m already messing with it. I’m keen to make what is a standard-ish model my own. Customize it a little i guess.
Last night I added a Brooks saddle and handle grips. Leather wears with age and should mould to my hands and bum. No doubt it will after time.. after we all get ‘broken in’.
I had a mind to camouflage the frame but am having second thoughts… It’s not an easy task.. Then i thought.. I’d get @Magiprint to make me stickers in camo colours of all the social media platforms I use. That would look like camouflage from a distance but says something close up. Not sure about that now.
I am still looking for black 16” rims and black mudgards. It’s not as easy to find pimping parts for a Brompton. Maybe I’m not looking in the right places.
If you have a Brompton pimped or not let me know and I can add you to my Twitter list.
I have already blogged about my recent acquisition on my other blog. It’s good to have a hobby.. albeit another one. :)
I have a couple of catapults, some going back years but fancied something special while I get round to making my own. After a little roaming around the bushcraft forums I found a catapult being talked about fondly and promptly ordered it.
It’s from Hunter Catapults and is a hand made hardwood laminate dyed a ‘Jacobean oak’.
Here is the Bumf from the website:
'Hunter catapults' is a small cottage based company nestled into the downs of rural Wiltshire. I have been making catapults for a couple of decades and have made many custom catapults for folk for some time too, some metal and some wood. I have always preferred wood, it looks great and the varieties available are extensive. The Hunter has been developed specifically with hunting in mind and I have taken a good few meals with one too!
The feature that really sets these catapults apart from other commercially available catapults is the fitting of doubled ‘Theraband gold’ ,this is believed to be the world’s leading catapult elastic and is used by many of the leading catapult shooters and catapult craftsmen alike, and makes the Hunter capable of 210fps!!! That’s 18ftlbs.
'Hunter catapults' have been developed to fit comfortably in large and smaller hands assuring many happy hours of target shooting or hunting.
If you think that the UK air gun law limits pistols to 6ftlbs and rifles to 12ftlbs you may have a little more respect for the humble back pocket catapult and it’s very capable18ftlbs. I imagine this kind of power is mainly possible if you’re shooting hand cast lead shot and I got a couple of samples sent to me with the catapult. I also have a good amount of stainless steel but care has to be taken due to ricocheting. Also I am not a big fan of using the shot and bearings if not hunting as I don’t like littering the wilderness with metal. I normally practise with good old fashioned round stones.
Being left handed I shoot my catapult in my left hand which i thought was the left handed way but this actually seems the norm as others feel the right hand/stronger hand is better placed drawing the catapult back. (When using a bow I draw back the arrow with my left). for me though, I feel the front aiming hand is more important so prioritise my left hand over my right. It’s not tough to pull back the Theraband Gold elastics. Just to hold them there. Handedness would not normally matter in purchasing a catapult but these Ergo Hunters are made to fit either the left or the right.
After a couple of trips out it has not taken me long to find the ‘eye’ I had when I was a kid and would be confident hunting dinner should the need ever arise.
It’s a beautiful bit of kit that I love to use. Way better than the cold hard factory made, mass produces catapults you can get. When I can afford it I’d love to get Fish (the guy behind Hunter Catapults) to make me a custom one. The laminate is nice but some of his ‘specials’ are just that. Very special indeed.
If you are not sure of the UK law around slingshots/catapults check the BushcraftUK forum for more info.
I just got sent a news link from @Loudmouthman I think he knew it would get my back up.
It appears that to ensure the London Olympics recoups some of it’s massive costs the corporate sponsors will be adjusting the laws and using the police to enter private homes if they suspect non official merchandise to be present. They will also be implimenting new stop and search powers in the street.
Police will have powers to enter private homes and seize posters, and will be able to stop people carrying non-sponsor items to sporting events.
"I think there will be lots of people doing things completely innocently who are going to be caught by this, and some people will be prosecuted, while others will be so angry about it that they will start complaining about civil liberties issues," Chadwick said.
"I think what it will potentially do is to prompt a debate about the commercial nature of the Games. Do big sponsors have too much influence over the Games?"
Have I got this wrong? What on earth are they thinking?
This is my second Power Monkey Explorer Solar Charger. It’s not a replacement. It’s in addition to my first that sits in my pack and is my emergency iphone charger. Having two iPhones and a MiFi means I am always in need of portable power and this secondary solar powered charging device will certainly get a lot of use.
The detachable ‘solar slave’ remains attached to this one and at the moment it lives in the car constantly topping up the internal lithium battery. In the box with the Power Monkey Explorer is also an AC and usb adapter so you can easily recharge when, as is often the case in the UK, the sun is not shining.
If I’m out in the wilds i’ll always have at least one solar device lying around soaking up the light. Occasionally my original grey device blends into the background. I don’t think I will have any trouble with this one.
The box also contains a load of extras. So in addition to the battery and solar panel you get the AC and USB adapter, a variety tips for mobile devices (including ipod ) and 3 international plug socket adapters. I tend to select the bits relevant to the kit i have with me and pop them in the small cotton pouch that also comes with the device. This blue model also came with a velcro strap which i think is for fastening the panel to anything that takes your fancy. At the moment it’s strapped under my sunroof in the car.
The LCD display is pretty self explanatory. It shows amount of battery life left and there is also an LED to show charging and discharging.
It’s certainly one of the better built devices out there and looks pretty weather proof. Mine has certainly not had a problem to getting very wet in the past.
It’s a 2000mah battery and so takes a long while to charge in the sun. With moderate use being really careful I can keep an iphone topped up but for someone like me it’s really only for emergencies. If you find yourself in a survival situation you will no doubt think the power explorer a godsend but as a heavy user of tech in the field I use it mainly as a backup and it has given me a much need full charge on more than one occasion. You can get about 1.5 iPhone charges from a fully charged Powermonkey. I am still testing it with my MiFi.
I’ve not really used the little solar panel on it’s own but this can apparently be done. And my only criticism would be that I’d have liked for it to continue solar charging the battery as it restored charge into a phone, much like larger systems do, but for the compact size you can’t expect everything.
To sum up, It’s a great bit of Mobile charging tech and if you get lots of sun you will love the free power. I like the build quality, compact nature and the fact it’s given me power on many occasions when I really needed it. I’ve always had all the adapters that I need and like it’s intuitive ease of use.