Saturday, 15 February 2020

Paul's Bread Pages - Update

My Bread Pages have evolved into a bit of a dogs breakfast of a website over the years. The files are somewhat disorganised on the server and the menus are Java driven which is not appropriate for some basic tablets and mobile phones.
Using the old site, there are a lot of links that are randomly located across the pages and the design needs a facelift.  Now is a good time to redo and update the whole thing.
My intention is to simplify the working of the pages and reduce the number of links to make its navigation an easier experience.

The new home page will split the site into 4 parts.  The old site had about 40 links from the home page.  Each part of the site will be contained in a simple folder structure and the recipes and information sheets will be retained as .pdf downloads to allow for easy printing of useful content.
The first section up for a refurbishment is the historical recipes pages.  These requires a global re-formatting and a few extra pictures.  Most are done now, but I discovered that I did not get around to doing the 19th Century recipies, so I now need to bake a few loaves and take some pictures before I can finish this section.

The website needs to be replaced in its entirity when I have completed the new pages.  The old pages and the new pages are incompatible with each other, so an entirely new website will be installed in a month ot two - when the deed in completed.

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Badger Time

 At 2:28 we had a visitor to the garden.  This video frame extract from our wildlife camera shows a large Badger passing across the top lawn
I also noticed that the internal temperature of the camera is -4 degrees Celsius, which is quite cool considering the daytime temperature of +7 Degrees.  Now that I am leaving the camera active all night, we are picking up the badgers most nights.  Occasional divits appear in the lawn when badgers appear on the video clips.

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Garden Birds

 Today Rosie did the Big Garden Bird Watch so I sat and counted with her.  Camera in hand, we sat through the normal morning flurry of activity, expecting to see a good range of the usual birds that visit our feeders.  Goldfinch numbers are high and the Chaffinches are now visiting regularly, a few years ago we would not expect to see Chaffinches.
 The Coal Tit visits in low numbers, usually accompanied by Blue Tit and Great Tit, but today the Tits were infrequent and alone.
 We had charged the feeders with a little extra this morning to account for the invasion if the Starlings, which was less intense than normal.
Our main residents, the sparrows were also under-represented as we know the garden contains 20-30 sparrows at any one time, but they were appearing in small numbers for the count.

Rosies count.

Thursday, 16 January 2020

T2HD Hangar

The T2 hangar was an RAF temporary hangar that was intended to be put up quickly as a kit assembly during World War 2 - capable of being dismantles and re-erected elsewhere.  This was the largest of the temporary hangars.  Many of these hangars were reinforced as T2 Heavy Duty hangars to be kept as permanent fixtures on RAF stations.  Two such hangars remain at Llanbedr airport in Wales.
I have just modelled this hangar based on an assembly module - for X-Plane 11 flight simulator.  The bulk of the hangar is made up of such arched structures, each half being identical along the centre line.  This enables the hanger to be assembled to a length that fits the space available.
Once the hangar body is assembled, the doors and door frames are fitted at each end.  The T2HD has twice as many support frames as the standard T2 hangar.
My hangar was built using Google SketchUp as it was a simple angular structure, but it could easily have been built in an industrial standard CAD system program like Blender as shown above.
The hangar sits well in the X-Plane scenery and it shows the doors open, with aircraft and equipment inside the hangar.
At night, the lights are on, so the contents of the hangar can be clearly seen.  I can see a few minor tweaks that are needed before the scenery model is completed, but the basics work well.

This model is the most detailed hangar I have made so far.  Most of my hangars are single skin structures with a simple interior.  This hangar will accommodate aircraft and look good inside.

Thursday, 26 December 2019

Christmas Day 2019

This time of year is all about thought and consideration for others.  With our friends and family mostly living several hours driving away and the weather being wet and windy, we made the decision to spend a restful Christmas day at home.  This is the first day in many when the car remained in the Garage.
First is the morning chores, clearing up and feeding the birds.
Then a seasonal slow breakfast with croissants, jam and coffee.  Check out the days news and do a crossword.
This year we have been frugal with the decorations - a few twinkly lights in the windows, cards from family and friends and a few small simple seasonal decorations as well as a small display of greenery brought in from the garden.
Yesterday I prepared most of the food for dinner, so cooking was a matter of heating or baking everything and making some sauce at the last minute.  Chestnut roast en-croute and baked or steamed seasonal vegetables, stuffing balls and red cabbage - with a small glass of red wine (possibly my first this year)!
An hour or so after the main course, we turned out Rosie's home made pudding.
Coffee and a long and leisurely rest in front of the TV was the order of the afternoon.

The evening fox visits were recorded on out outdoor camera.  The video clips from the evening were a final treat to watch before we retired for the night.

We are looking forward to a long walk when the weather improves a little.

Footnote: The TV adverts this year were excessively about booking holidays, something that is usually done on new Years Day.  I also recieved a very large number of E-Mails about sales and offers on Christmas Day.  Not, to my mind, what the day is about.  All were deleted as a block and not read.  Grumpy old man in charge here......

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Not quite to plan....

Taxiing out to the runway in my Diamond DA62 using the X-Plane 11 flight simulator.  Just waiting for a Cessna 172 to take off ahead of me.  All systems looking good.
 ATC give permission to proceed and  all instruments are reading normal.
  I just watch the Cessna clear the immediate airspace before taxiing out onto the runway.
 Take off and check out the local landmarks to get a visual orientation on the route and then switch on the autopilot to take me to the first waypoint
 The DA62 is a modern twin engined 6 seat aircraft with an impressive array of instruments.  It is a relatively easy aircraft to fly and land, being very pilot friendly.
 At the waypoint  I disengage the autopilot and turn to my airfield approach to fly the aircraft in manually.  BANG!

Fire on engine 1 - smoke and flames - off fuel - off power to that engine, adjust trim nose down, look for a place to land.  Grass pasture ahead to the right, power off, flaps down 1 point, wheels down. MayDay call out.

Align the aircraft to avoid trees and obstacles.  Down with a bumpy landing, fire extinguisher to engine nacelle, OK - this was a good "walk away from the plane" landing.

Now what can I do on the sim with an aircraft in a field, one engine wrecked and not enough power to take off safely in the space available - call the AA?
Just restart the sim at a different location with an aircraft set to no failures.

The X-Plane flight simulator is designed to mimic real flying and there is a built in setting to trigger a failure at preset intervals.  Usually it is just a giro misalignment or a light out, but a major failure does not occur very often.  It comes as a surprise when it happens - glad I knew what to do.
(No repair bills on a simulator.)

Aerobask DA62 - good value sim model - highly recommended.

Saturday, 23 November 2019

Biddulph Grange

 We recently visited Biddulph Grange to the North of Stoke.  This was the only clear day we have had for a while and this was a pleasant break during a shopping trip.  The hall was developed as private accommodation flats, but the grounds and small parts of the building are run by the National Trust.
 The Washingtonia Walk is as good exercise route.  You can walk the length of it and come back through the woodland.
One purpose was to see the Geology Gallery now that the restoration project is coming to an end.  The fossils are now on the wall and most of the stratigraphic rocks are in place - just a few meters of stratigraphy to add near to the door now.
 I particularly like the crinoid bed which is a fine and near perfect reproduction of the original - most of the fossils are resin casts and reproductions as the originals were mostly sold to collectors and museums many years ago.
 The Ichthyosaur fossil is a cast of a specimen which is still held in the hall.  Time to check out the dinosaurs in the coffee room before hitting the shops.
Having arrived home, we had an early visitor.  It is quite rare to see the foxes out in daylight at this time of year, but it was a fine day after a week of rain.