Yesterday I was Tom Cruise, today I’m stripping fucking Artex again

So today it was back to normality. I had work to do. I must admit though, yesterday I was on a bit go a high. Jamie cooked and it was nice, we went to bed, watched some telly and then did a cross word. One of those is a lie. Anyway, breakfast for three, Sasha kept up her caffeine habit. Then I was on a bit of a time limit, as we had a dinner appointment. Out with the Artex stripper, piled it all on within an hour. Walked the dogs, picked up the dog shit. Then basically it was three solid hours of stripping. Finished it all by 4:30. Had a shower and then off we went to the dull in-laws. Well, they are not dull, I just don’t have much in common with a chef and I think she’s a mental nurse or something. I do however absolutely love Jim, Jamie’s grandad, he is such a fascinating character, he’s very ‘old skool’, but such a fascinating bloke. And I must admit, we do share heavily our political views, which I know for sure the rest of all our families certainly don’t. Now, we had dinner. I was served lamb, which I hate as I don’t eat meat, then served a real cream pudding which I’m allergic to. Dinner was fun. I must admit though, the conversation was absolutely amazing. I was driving, so I had half a glass of wine. Everyone else I think had been drinking since about Tuesday. To paraphrase it, Cathy said, “You certainly don’t get porn by email”, with such conviction. The rest of the conversation basically centred around porn, Ann Summers, La Senza and Jim discussing nudes. It was an interesting evening. After dinner I showed my ‘first solo’ video. Jim shook my hand, he can appreciate that it takes a reasonable amount of effort. Drove home. Then made up for the lack of wine.

So yesterday I was Tom Cruise in ‘Top Gun’ flying quarter of a million pounds worth of helicopter over Gloucestershire, but without the cannon and missiles, and today I was ‘Joe Smith’ scraping Artex from a bathroom ceiling. Quite a come down. But secretly I knew with every scrape, I was wearing a pair of mirrored shades saying ‘Goose, there’s a Mig at 12 o’clock’. Yesterday I joined an elite group of people who can fly a helicopter, a sort of gentleman’s club of geeks with far too much money. But after doing it for fun, I have so much respect of those who do it for a living in the military and search and rescue. Now, I’m no royalist, but my hat goes off to Prince William, I don’t think people realise how difficult his job actually is. There is a highly trained individual who actually does a valued job for a living. Sir you have my respect. If only your dad did something fucking useful rather than talking to plants and waiting for his mother to die. Talking of which, that kind of reminds me of somebody. But all my plants are already dead…

The worlds never going to seem quite so flat again

This morning started off as normal, breakfast for three and coffee for one. Sasha needs to stop on the coffee, it makes her very irritable. Then got straight on with clearing out the garage, need to get a bathroom suite in there. Made a pretty good job of it. Soon the time came to drive up to Staverton. Dropped Jamie off at Tesco’s, then off I went.

We had a short briefing, tested on R22 emergency procedures. Then I fixed up the cameras, went through the checklist and James put his hi-viz on. We did about four circuits, first was a bit quick, second was better, third was pretty much bang on. We then did a short circuit with an autorotation and then finally a fourth normal circuit. James then got out. I then got into the hover. It did feel somewhat different without the extra weight in it. So did a few spots turns and things, then landed again. James checked if I was good to go, then it was into the hover again and finally that was it, speeding down at 40kts to the transitional lift kicked in. Up over the golf course. It was easily the most scariest thing I’d ever done in my life. But by the time I was over the golf course it was all pretty much business as normal and flying by the numbers. It was my favourite circuit, up over the M5. Approach and landing was pretty much perfect, if a bit long. Afterwards James came over, shook my hand and then said I needed to be in a high hover so he could take a load of photos. So I posed for a couple minutes, about 20ft in the air. Then it was all over. Well, if nothing else, it will make me grin for the next week.

Now the next probability of death, Jamie is making a curry.

If I die before I wake, I probably fell asleep at the controls

All about pre-cert again today. Bug chasing. Oh and sorting particles. We had a density setting which did nothing. It now does something. Very busy all day really. Went to the gym and did Pump, did session with Laverne afterwards. Came back and did more work, far too late into the evening.

Had a real freakish thing happen today. I sent a text to Captain James saying that I could do any time after 11 tomorrow. Within 3 seconds I had a reply saying ‘2?’, texts crossing in the either. Anyway, we are confirmed for tomorrow. Could be an interesting and possibly very final day. If this is my last entry, then I fucked something up big time.

So I spent the evening with my giant douche

Started at a reasonable time. Getting close to pre-cert build, very in fact, it’s tomorrow. So lots of buggering about with certification issues. Mainly to do with GUI scaling. Such is the excitement of my life. Captain James sent me a text and said he would call me tomorrow about Saturday, so God knows what’s going to happen then. Weather has all been a bit shit. Saturday is currently looking perfect with low wind. It will probably all go horribly wrong tomorrow and armageddon will occur. Walked the dogs, move wine bottles around the garage.

Went for a run. Came back and then washed out sixty odd bottles with my giant douche and bottle dryer. The white is unit clearing. Hopefully that will be ready Tuesday and then I can bottle that, then Thursday for the red. I need ti clear the garage out the weekend, so I have room for the bath. Somewhere I also need to stick in about one hundred and twenty bottles of wine. Plus I need to do my Naked Wines order, that’s another two hundred and forty quids worth of the stuff.

I want you to clean my house, not Feng Shui my fucking kitchen

Today was still all about bloody GUI. And building data, all day hanging around building bloody data. Cleaners turned up, not sure how long they were here. But they seemed very proud that they cleaned my patio door. Then I come down to the kitchen and find the toaster has been relocated, the chopping board is nowhere to be found and the tin opener is now the other side of the room. Look, I pay you to clean my house, not Feng Shui my fucking kitchen. I’m sure I’ll come down one day and find the bed in the middle of the lounge. The excuse will be, “It allows the East-West winds to flow freely and the dragon can come in and savour the sun”, ah, fuck off.

Weather is still looking shit tomorrow, so that’s it now until the weekend I expect. Went to Pump, using by far the heaviest weights, this is just so I can gurn at myself in the mirror. Came back, did more work, then added the last lot of finings to the wine. Just wait for it to clear now.

So potentially in 48 hours I could be dead

Spent most of the morning building data and pissing about with GUI tools which kept running out of memory. Then did a minor render optimisation and finally finished off the day drawing black borders around a resized GUI. Today was bloody cold. Was going for a run but it was pissing down, so went to the gym and did it there instead. Came back and stabilised both barrels of wine, degassed, added the first lot of finings. Second lot will go in tomorrow. Then just need to wait for it to clear. Then it’s ready for bottling. Need t find somewhere to put it all then, that’s close to 120 bottles in total. Need to go to bed and study a crib sheet on R22 technical data.

Oh one pain in the ass thing that happened this morning. Couldn’t access bugger all. BBC news, weather, nothing. In the end traced it to DNS screwing over. Not sure if they’ve changed policy to stop different ISP accessing it, but in the end I just deleted the DNS entries and set it up for forwarding, this seemed to have got shot of the issue.

So I’m going to jump out of a helicopter with a parachute wearing a lifejacket and armbands, maybe not

So today was all about the GUI. More specifically about the GUI and Guassian blur. And boy did it piss me off. Spent all day buggering about trying to stop it blurring one bit and blur something else. Multiple rewrites. Still wasn’t gaining ground.

Heard from Captain James, Thursday apparently looks good. Spoke to Rob, said I may be taking a few hours off Thursday as the weather was looking okay for a specific purpose. He enquired more. I said I needed to parachute from a moving helicopter. And then managed to milk it considerably more. I added that it needed to be done wearing a life jacket and arm bands and that the hardest thing was not setting alight the canopy with the flare. He then asked about the weather, I said, “Well you don’t want get blown on to the M5 do you?”. I kind of gave up at that point.

Went to gym and did Combat. There were four of us. Very intimate. Came back and had another attempt at blurring, this time it was more successful. I hate GUI.

The ‘Tin Food Challenge’

So today after breakfast it was out with the Artex removal stuff. Goes on fairly easily, took a couple of hours but ran out just over half way. Cleared up the dog shit, walked the dogs and then went to the tip. Came back and then started on the scraping, that took a long long time. Part of it dried out by the time I got there, so that will need redoing. It’s a pretty good finish though. I reckon with a bit of sanding and filling it should all work out okay. Will need to order more removal stuff to finish it off. It’s really really messy.

Finished adding the annotations to the new video, here it is ‘The tin food challenge’.

Bye bye Artex

So today started with a text from Captain James saying ‘I think we should wait for a nice day during the week’, which either means the weather was cack over Staverton of he’d had a bit of a heavy night. Either way, I went back to bed. Got up at a sensible time and had breakfast. I was going to shoot a new video today but Jamie was here, so instead I said we’d do another strange colab one. He suggested the ‘Tin food challenge’. So off we went and bought twelve random tins of foodstuffs. We came back, got right on it and produced about half hour of raw footage. We then drove off into town, decided there was nothing we actually wanted so stopped off in Toolstation and then drove to Cribbs, where we also failed to buy anything.

Came back and I put a little test patch on the bathroom ceiling. Left it for about half an hour and sure enough, with a scraper it takes all the Artex off. So tomorrow there’s a big job ahead of covering the whole ceiling with it and getting rid of the lot. Plus a couple of extra fun jobs of sealing the windows and going down the tip. But if it all goes to plan tomorrow I should end up with a fairly flat ceiling.

Edited the video, it’s now encoding and will shortly be uploading. I’ll probably make it live tomorrow and put a link in here. Now Jamie is about to cook, I may have been better off with what was in some of those tins.

Street life? OMG what next

So today was basically all about just one bug. Random crash, which thankfully one of my colleagues managed to get a 100% repro for. It was some lighting data which was being corrupted. Now we have this thing called ‘free block trasher’, what it does is on deallocation of memory it fills the block with a marker. This is so if you are accessing freed data it will then crash, as normally there is a chance the data would still be valid. Anyway, this lighting data was getting the free trasher marker all over it. Turned out to be quite interesting. As the renderer is multithreaded, theres a hell of a lot going on at once (well up to five things anyway), so there has to be some order and synchronisation between stuff. Now what was happening was the lighting data was being recreated at the same time some GUI code was trying to use it, so it was picking up the stale data on a random occasion. The GUI code wasn’t waiting for the lighting data to be written. So a prerequisite was added to the GUI code and all was well with the world.

Went to the gym and did Pump. Then spent almost another hour and a half working out with Laverne. I’ve got great looking arms. She kept saying I had wonderful definition so I kept staring at myself in the mirror and agreeing. Came back and fixed a problem with photo colour cubes.

Mother has signed up to a new social website called, apparently a way to meet your neighbours and make new friends. I did have a quick look at the site, it’s got a thing for matching interests but I couldn’t find a tick box for ‘self-centred shopoholic’, so she may be a bit fucked.

Possibility of flying tomorrow, but the weather looks a bit shit and really I want a bit of sun for what I’m doing next.