Categories
photography

Running a marathon (well, sort of)

Donate to Ade’s 2.6 (x10) Challenge

I’m not a long distance runner, but for the last 18 months or so I have been getting into doing a few short runs a week – usually about 5km and more recently sometimes up to about 9km.

Basically I’m pretty happy running for up to about an hour, but I’ve not tried slowing it down and going much further.

Two Point Six Challenge

Last Sunday would have been the day of the London Marathon had it not been cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The Marathon usually raises a lot of money for charities through sponsorship so in light of it being cancelled they came up with #TwoPointSixChallenge the idea being for people to raise some money doing their own challenges based around the number 26.

Pre run selfie

Some people are running 2.6 miles, some are cycling or doing other sports or activities. Everyone’s level of ability is different and difficulty is relative. Certainly I could not have run 2.6 miles 18 months ago, but given that I run often it would not have been difficult enough now. So I decided to run all 26 miles this week.

I’m doing it to raise some money for Cancer Research UK. If you would like contribute to you can donate on my JustGiving page.

We have already raised £336 £566 £722 (including Facebook donations) which is amazing, so thank you to everyone who has donated.

The main reason for this blog post is because I think giving it one last push could help it reach a few more people who might want to donate to Cancer Research.

Social Media

Social media is proving to be a difficult way of reaching everyone. A friend I chatted to today said they weren’t aware I am doing it, despite me going on about it constantly online for the past two days! I am battling against the algorithms.

So if you would like to donate then that would be amazing. But even if you don’t (which really is fine) then it could help loads if you could like, share or reply to or otherwise react to my social media posts about it – as that will help to convince the algorithms that it’s interesting.

Please see: this tweet or this Facebook post.

Progress

I went a bit overboard and ran 9 miles on Monday and 10 miles today so I have about 7 miles left to do. So I’m doing a marathon in three days.

Monday was all things idyllic and sunny but today was pretty hard going and in relentless driving rain. Also I foolishly took a right turn up the steepest hill in the area which goes on LITERALLY FOREVER. So now I’m feeling a bit broken. You can see my routes here and here on Strava.

I cannot fathom how people run a whole marathon in one session at any sort of speed!

Progress update 2 (29/03)

I completed it this morning. Day 3 was not too bad! What have I learned? I could probably manage a half marathon.

Please help share this!

Any shares likes, retweets and comments et cetera help more than you might realise. It would be great to get to £400. Donations are now at £722. I will top it up by an extra £100 as well. The current (and of course very serious) virus problems aside cancer remains one of the highest causes of suffering and death, and science and research are how we will eventually solve it.

And if you do want to donate please click the big banner at the top or below. And if not please do consider sharing.

Thank you!

Donate to Ade’s 2.6 (x10) Challenge
Categories
photography

Spouting music into The Void

This tweet by Ron S. of Anode Records encapsulates well how it often feels to share your music online. For me it’s borderline embarrassing to announce to the world your own creative work. And the way it goes is that you build it up… and spend days (sometimes weeks) fussing over details and over-listening until you have pretty much no idea if it’s any good or not any more.

So after all that, and even though you primarily make music for your own enjoyment, it would seem a shame to just leave it on your own hard drive forever, never to be heard by anyone else. And if you’re me (which I am) then you know full well that it’s amateur dad-techno which probably has niche appeal to a handful of your also-40+ cohorts. But… well maybe those people would like to hear it. It would be great to get a bit of feedback too. Is it any good? Do you like some bits? Does this have any merit at all? So you send it privately to ten or so friends and family. Be honest, tell me if it sucks. Anything!

But you don’t hear back for a few days so whatever… out goes the Tweet and a Facebook post. May as well throw it out there.

But then still nothing. No interactions or responses. Awkward.

So you then worry that everyone thinks it’s so terrible that they don’t know what to say. So you look at the stats and, no, that seems not to be the case because because, well, twitter gives you tweet analytics:

  • Impressions: 179
  • Likes: 1 (thanks bro)
  • Retweets: 1 (my other account)
  • Link clicks: 1

And Facebook:

  • 3 people reached
  • 0 engagements

So one person clicked through and listened to the track on SoundCloud. In 36 hours. The tweet is now well buried.

The reality seems to be that it’s pretty difficult to get people to hear what you’ve recorded. Is nobody interested in this sort of music any more? Or are they just busy? (probably this) Is it because there’s a zillion hours of free music uploaded every minute? Or is it the algorithm making it essentially hidden? (could be) Is social media just a bad way of sharing music unless you’re Calvin Harris with 12.6M followers?

If the problem was just that the music is crap I would expect a lot of clicks but no likes. But there are near zero clicks. Nobody is hearing it to begin with.

This, in part, led me to giving up for 18 months. What’s the point? But then I missed doing it and got quite low because I wasn’t doing anything creative in my life (work is mostly technical these days).

So it’s 2020 and I’m starting up again. And it’s not at the standard I would like yet. So the answer is to make more and more stuff. But then to be more selective. Fail lots and get better. I’ll continue to share it because why not. But like Ron, above, I won’t expect any of these tweets to blow up anytime soon.

p.s. Ron S’s Planet Z tracks are pretty great. And thanks to anyone who did spare a few minutes to listen to my new tracks (thanks Tom, Ben + Daniel!) And thanks Dad for buying a copy on Bandcamp 🙂

Categories
photography

Novation Circuit live sketch

This is a competition entry for a track made using only the Novation Circuit, in the Circuit Owners group on Facebook.

It’s a pretty basic sketch as no other instruments or devices were allowed.

The samples, as stipulated by the competition rules are by Lightfinger. The synth patches are from by Cuckoo and are available here .

Categories
photography

Waves

More techno tinkering… Waves is the B-side to Hexagons.

Categories
photography

Bookindy

Now this is a good idea. Presumably if it gains popularity Amazon will make moves to try to block it.

Categories
geek photography tech web

Google Photos – great but no faces?

  
Google’s new Photos app seems pretty great, with a consistent experience between the web and its native Android and iOS versions. The way your photos are organised is better than in Apple’s app, but the clincher is that they give you unlimited online storage if you’re willing to have them compress the originals. Given that (for me) this is just for family snaps, that is fine.
My iCloud storage has been full for weeks, and a combination of not being bothered enough to get round to it and not being sure I want to pay for the service (5GB feels tight, given I recently spent £ hundreds on a new iPhone) has led me to leave it like that. So goodbye iCloud Photo Library.

And as a it happens you can still post photos to iCloud shared libraries (which are, confusingly, separate from the iCloud Photo Library) direct from the Google Photos app. 

Anyway two days into using it a couple of things are eluding me:

  1. A lot of people are tweeting about how impressive the facial recognition is, and the feature was demonstrated in the Google IO Keynote, but my Google Photos app (and also on the web) has no mention of faces anywhere and no apparent means of manually tagging faces – despite my library being full of photos of my family. Perhaps they’re rolling it out incrementally.
  2. Google has rather cleverly tagged and grouped a load of objects and things such as cats, cars, trains and food. However these collections contain some notable mistakes. A photo of one of my cats sleeping has appeared in the ‘food’ set, for example. Oddly there seems to be no way of untagging these things. Surely if you could then this could theoretically help its learning algorithm.

I’m guessing these things will be sorted out in due course, but there’s a chance I’m just missing something obvious. I’ve searched Google and Twitter but can’t find anyone else with the same problem (I mostly care about the face recognition).

Anyone else?

Categories
photography

Took the train anyway

…despite the previous post.

(null)