Geeky Sunday

So today I’ve written a plug-in for x-plane 11 and it lets me control my hue lights…

This took far too long, but I’ve had to refresh my (human) memory on how to write code in C.

I’ve learnt how to compile a dll to use libcurl as the hueapi is based round http requests and sod writing that from scratch when there are free industry standard libraries waiting to be used.

But I’m proud of what I’ve got working all good exercise for the mind, the next tricky bit is making some menus as I’ve got lots of hard coding in there based round my own hue setup that won’t be too useful to other people. Although it tempting I can’t really expect people to work out the IP address of their hue bridge to type in to save me coding the find hue device code.

All because when I am flying the X-Plane commercial jets I want to be able to control the room lighting based off the simulation settings. Not sure if all planes implement the cocking lighting stuff, but someone has suggested that it could be linked to ambient light too (need to find where we can read this from still)

I also want to see if the code runs fast enough that some hue lamps can copy the external plane lighting that flashes, but if it slows down too much I’ll scrap that idea.

This train is formed of eight coaches

As I was late to bed last night I allowed myself the luxury of getting the 08:39 instead of my normal 07:36 train to work.

I don’t understand people the announcement repeatedly says “this train is formed of eight coaches” yet a good number of them walk well past the “8 car stop” sign and then look surprised the train has stopped before them on the platform.

Maybe it is not obvious what an “eight car stop” sign on the bank of screens for the driver to check the doors means.

We had our summer support services staff party last night, for a change I only had one drink and am feeling very smug on the lack of hangover I would normally have.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Sorry for the delay in posting, but my mind has been a fog thanks to antihistamine following a few insect bites. (You can read about that here)

So Monday night saw a me go with some of my family to see Joseph at the London Palladium.

Having seen this before when I was still at school it was great to see how they have taken the production into the modern world. One such highlight being the butler being played by one of the younger female members of the company.

Sheridan Smith was amazing and still has her quirky humour which made the production a bit less sterile than the subject matter can be.

Plenty of high energy dance numbers thrown into including a can-can playing on the mishearing of “Canaan”. Still not sure if the end of Act One and “Go Go Joseph” or the “Mega Mix” at the end is my favourite part of the show. Maybe this is my excuse to go again…

A very impressive custom lift / trap door setup is used in the centre of the stage, didn’t notice the sound or lighting much otherwise which to me implies it was all done well. If you’re not tall front row of the Grand Circle is a good place to sit in this theatre and at only £15 a ticket, can’t quite believe my luck.

Get back on track

So it’s time to get back on track. Having to buy the largest waist jeans M & S sell is never a good plan, which when I did lose weight I promised I’d never put it back, but alas I failed there. Time has come to fix this.

I’ve ordered some new swimming goggles (with prescription lenses, hence the not buying on the high street). My swimming kit is already sitting under my desk as work so once they turn up we’re ready to rock and roll. I really need to start rolling as Kat suggest we do London Tri 2020, currently I’m not going to be able to get anywhere near to getting my wet suit on.

I’m also going to have a go with Huel, but in reality I’ve got the nutrition right if (and it’s a very big if) I can stop myself from snacking. Now it was competition with Kat that worked for me last time the weight came off, so hopefully I can make this work all over again.

As a Tough Mudder Brand Ambassador it would be good to be able to run more of the course, but then I do also love my volunteer shifts with Tough Mudder. I have to include any first timers wanting 30% off use BRANDUK9353 as a discount code to sign up.

Anyway the plan is as for next week to be swimming three times a week, before upping this to some none swimming exercise.

After my UK A to Z

Should I do a Europe A to Z or a tour of places from the “Meaning of Liff“?

I thinking myself I should do both as I love Europe, but it’s big and might take me a while. When I was a young teenager it was Douglas Adams who really made me rekindle my love of reading. As long as I document both; might as well do both at once….. That said still want to finish my UK A – Z first, but when shall I go to Bacon End? Maybe this Saturday when we have a one day heat wave and I like the idea of sitting in the car with air con to keep me cool. Yet hot weather tends to equal other drivers being more grumpy so maybe stay at home and shade bathe is the answer.

I’m going to promise to visit Bacon End this weekend or next!

Cramp, but we won

I went to the pub last night, and this morning woke up with a horrible left leg calf cramp. Now before anyone says I drank too much I had one pint of beer and two pints of diet coke, plus I ate pizza so I doubt it was not getting enough salt…. I’m going to blame the weather.

More importantly somehow despite our team being just three of us. We managed to win said quiz which is done in a winner takes all format!


We tried to work out when we last went to this pub, but failed to come up with a certain date, but we’re talking years ago. The quiz master has changed, and now seems to be a lady who likes science which did us a bit of a favor.

Ae (Mike’s UK A to Z)

So I’ve started my A – Z project with a trip to Ae Village. I visited Ae on Friday 14th June 2019 whilst on the way to Tough Mudder Scotland where amusingly to me one of the obstacles Arctic Enema often has it’s name shortened to A.E. Whilst speaking of Tough Mudder remember any first timers can get 30% off any UK classic or 5k event with my ambassador code of BRANDUK9353

I was also not in A & E as one of my friends suggested when I made the check-in with Facebook.

Whilst we were there we happened to find a honesty box tablet and brittle stand. This was £2 very well spent in my opinion (one bag of each)

Ae Village sign

So I’ve decided my only requirement in each place is to visit and briefly document the visit. So you get a photo and my rambling blog post about each one.

B is going to be for a Bacon based place name, but can anyone guess which one? I think a few of you already know so no you can’t play!

Note: has the list as I make it up

Playing with the TFL APIs

So I often get annoyed coming home from work that the platform indicator board at South Kensington only displays very close trains.

It turns out that the API they offer has lots of useful data, that isn’t shown on the platform displays. Surely that’s not a hard fix if they have the data…..

Anyway this now works on my phone and my PC…. Yes it’s rough and ready, but it’s for me!

Oyster / Oyster Replacement over a wider area (PAYG)

Yes the government are doing a consultation on making more pay as you go options available.

This in my opinion really needs doing, but there are two big things I want.

One monthly and annual caps (ideally with X day a week options to cover part time commuters).

Two if the technology needs replacing add longer range RFID too so they can see when I have gone through my home station in the evening. Currently having a season ticket on there means according to the rules I “should tap out” not “must tap out” if you force every to tap out you end up with a stupid queue…

I’d really like to see this working nationwide at some point, but to do that you’re going to have to have the option to put tickets on unless advance fares ever go away, which would make me sad! Then I still remember being in Rome my walk up ticket didn’t cost much at all, why can’t we just have affordable walk up fares?