2017 Has Been Somewhat Peculiar

Normally I look back on a year and I think “well that was a crock of Benghazi bananas being broken, bashed, bitten, boxed and badly botched”; or “Wow. That was the best ever. Can we replay that year forever?”

2017 had the gall to be both. The year started all sucky like, with not being able to leave the house due to pain. I had to try and find other ways of entertaining myself as the house gets rather confining when you can’t leave.

It reached the stage where I could no longer walk at all and I needed a wheelchair. The doctor arranged for some home physio and Occupational Therapists to come and see me and try and get me back out again.

I found that going and watching people playing games on several gaming streaming sites kept me entertained, as I could chat with people about things I already knew about. As I chatted more and more, then some of them told me that I should start to think about doing it as well.

I tried a little last year on a different platform – Twitch –  but it didn’t go too well. So talking with people on Mixer, an “FTL” streaming platform made me think about it more. WIth FTL, there is no delay. In fact, sometimes it comes through so fast, you hear it on the stream before it comes through your headphones where someone in the party has spoken.

I figured I would give it a go. After all, what’s the worst that could happen? I would be happy if I reached 10 followers, although I knew from the outset that 25 was completely out of the question.

With the help of the physio and occupational therapists, I now use my wheelchair very little, and I have even stepped outside my house three times this year. That is a huge win for me. I am hoping to be able to get out of the house at least once a month in 2018.

So then back to the streaming. I started streaming properly in late September and by mid-October, I had beaten my goal of 10 followers dramatically. On 4th November, I reached a milestone of 100 followers. Beginning of December, I reached 200 and I set myself a goal of 300 by the end of the year.

When the flu, or whatever this pandemic is, hit me on Friday, I was on 295 followers. I never stream on a weekend as that is time for family and friends. My kids told me to do so today though. When I turned my laptop on, I was on 297 followers. I started streaming and people arrived to chat and have a giggle. Then one after the other, three people followed me, bringing my total to 300. That impossible target. 30x more than I ever thought I could reach. And then they carried on coming after I signed off. Currently, it stands at 305.

My goal for 2018 is to reach 500 followers. I just hope I haven’t put it so far out of reach that I will never attain it.

So this year, I have gone from being in a wheelchair to being able to walk (to some degree) again and going from having no followers to over 300.

It has definitely been an up and down year.

I hope 2018 is more up for myself, and I hope it is the best year of your lives for the rest of you.

Be safe, be great, be you.

Happy New Year.

Welcome 2018

Happy-New-Year-2018-Images-4

 

Your Vote Counts

This year, the American Presidential Election has been the most vicious and nasty one in a very long time. It may be the most vicious ever in a free country. I’m not American so I don’t get a say in who becomes President, but those of you over there in the USA, do. And you need to use that say. That right.

But my vote won’t make a difference. My not voting is my vote. Our country is going to the dogs anyway, why should I vote.

You say that, and your vote doesn’t make a difference. Neither does yours. Or yours. Or yours, yours, yours, yours or yours. Or all the people there. Or them. Or those.

Oh wait, that is 100,000 people who have said their one vote doesn’t matter. Each on its own may seem insignificant. One droplet of water is insignificant. But look at the sea. One snowflake is insignificant. But look at an avalanche. One stone is insignificant. But look at a beach. One grain of sand is insignificant. But look at the desert.

Your one vote is NOT insignificant. Your vote matters. Your vote counts. You HAVE to vote.

On November 8th, go cast your vote whether for Hillary, Trump or Johnson.

Wouldn’t it be funny if, in a protest, the whole country voted for Gary Johnson instead of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?

Whatever you decide,

VOTE!

 

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Something Every Astronomer Needs

I received this book from the author with him asking if I would mention it on my blog. I’ll do one better and give a quick review.

2015 An Astronomical Year: A Reference Guide to 365 Nights of Astronomy is a guide to where all of the celestial bodies will be in 2015. The descriptions the author has given are very easy to follow, and with the images, easy to spot in the night sky as well. He uses a glossary at the beginning of the book, describing what each of the words mean making it easier to understand everything in the book and the night sky.

Images have been used to make it even easier to see where the stars, planets, galaxies, asteroids are on each given day. He has given times in GMT and how to tell where the stars will be in your part of the US.

This is the only gripe I have with this book, Bartlett only gives times in UK and US. Having times in Australian, Calcutta and maybe Canada would have been handy as well. Maybe a later revision will include those time zones.

If you are an Amateur Astronomer, then this is an essential guide for you, and to mark the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing on July 20th, the book will be available for free for five days. At all other times, the book is $5.99 (£4.99)

Go get the book and watch the night sky and see where constellations are in 2015.

2015 Night Sky

Amazon UK …………………………. Here

Amazon US …………………………. Here

My Daughter Has Planned My Life Out

Okay, so my daughter has planned my life out for the next year.

  • I will meet someone on my blog and fall in love
  • I will move in with them in Florida
  • She will have a daughter younger than my daughter
  • My daughter will finish school in America
  • She will get a scholarship in Harvard
  • The woman I fall in love with will feel sorry for her and buy her loads of clothes
  • My daughter will meet a boy called Nate star quarterback of the school
  • Nate will also get a scholarship and then a career in American Football
  • My daughter and Nate will fall in love and get married and have a summer wedding.

All of this in a year. Oh yeah – she wants to drop her mother out of the plane on the way over but keep the baby (I’m not looking after it, it’s not my baby)