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Inktober

Inktober

Ulla Thynell

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying this year’s Inktober, and thought I’d share some of the inspiring illustrations I’ve come across during the past few weeks.

As a general rule, it’s the black & white artworks that tend to be the ones that catch my eye (perhaps it’s the sketch-like, quickly inked, responsive nature of them that seems so in keeping with the spirit behind Inktober that I like about them), though you can see a little colour creeping into a couple the pieces I’ve selected. They’ve made me realise that a splash of colour can, however, make all the difference!

I’ve not had the chance to take part this year, but I’m determined to give it a go next time. PS. I do love the list of prompts for this year!

 

From top left: Kate Slater; Debbie Tung; Meredith Dillman; Inktober

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Plugs

Plugs

Power Up - by Gareth
Power-up by Gareth

I never said this blog would be a rollercoaster of excitement on every post. This post is about plugs, and it will answer questions I get as most of my friends’ resident electronics nerd. It’s very possible you are one of my friends reading this because I have sent you here when you asked me this question. Don’t think I’m being lazy, I’m just being efficient!

The question people ask me, quite frequently is;

My [x] has broken/is crap/feels dangerous/keeps wearing out/has gone missing, what should I get? The [x] in this is usually a USB charger. Occasionally it is an international power adaptor. This post will deal with my recommendations on both, with one neat solution which covers off both.

“My USB Charger has broken/is crap/feels dangerous/keeps wearing out/has gone missing, what should I get?”

This is the most common question I get on the general topic of plugs, and there are usually two products I recommend, one being the actual plug, the other being the cable, both by the same manufacturer; Anker.

Anker started because a Google employee was trying to find quality 3rd party laptop batteries, they couldn’t so set up a company that could. This eventually formed into trying to develop really good mobile phone accessories, mostly chargers, batteries and cables.

Anker make a goodly number of products in this space, but the one I love the most is this;

Anker Power Port 5 

It allows you to charge 5 different devices at the same time, and uses some neat technology to make sure the power draw is always correct.

It has a long cable connecting to the power as well which is helpful. I would always recommend pairing it with an Anker USB cable too, which I have found to be indestructible.

 

“My International Adaptor has broken/is crap/feels dangerous/keeps wearing out/has gone missing, what should I get?”

Skross World Travel Adaptor Micro 

I have the older version of this, but I am assuming it is the same high quality. I’ve used SKROSS adaptors for years and they have always worked well for me. The trouble I usually have is losing them/leaving them behind when I stay somewhere!

 

“I don’t want to carry round all that stuff though. What should I get?”

Portable Charger – Mu

Now for a while the answer to this was ‘tough luck’, but in around 2015 an interesting product came out called the ‘Mu folding plug’. It’s a full UK USB plug that you can amazingly fold up flat! A successive product added a way to swap out the country specific plug part with either an EU, or a US adaptor. I have two of these, one international and one regular. Both have 1.2A USB sockets. This is in my ‘every day carry’ category, something I may post about in the future.

 

So there you have it. A post about plugs.

 

Nostalgia, it never gets old

Nostalgia, it never gets old

This Owl managed to secure a pre-order of the Nintendo SNES Classic Mini way back when they were first announced. I was actually walking through Birmingham at the time, and I managed to get one as I was walking. I was lucky, as they pretty much disappeared (until yesterday, launch day), with silly money exchanging hands just for a guaranteed pre-order. Pussycat has been most amused at how much I have been looking forward to this coming out, and my frequent showing her how ‘cute’ it is.

I previously managed to get a NES Classic Mini too, at the time no one really knew how rare they would become and despite being tempted to sell it for megabucks, I have so far resisted. The NES Classic Mini was quite disappointing, it looked nice, but it only came with a single pad, and that pad was constrained by a ridiculously short cable.

The SNES is a different beast. There’s more games that I am fond of, which helps, but the major factor with it is it comes with two pads bundled with the system, and those controllers have slightly longer cables. The first game I played was the one I was most looking forward to playing again, after many many years. Super Mario Kart.

It was amazing how quickly you get back into the swing of things mostly from muscle memory! 1st in all the Mushroom cup races on my first attempt! After that, a bit of Street Fighter 2 Turbo (still terrible at it), first level of StarFox (its still amazing) and finally a level or two of Super Mario World.

Going forward, I’m really looking forward to playing (and finishing) Zelda: A Link to the Past (A game that I never really got into the first time round), and Donkey Kong Country (A game that I finished with more than 100% complete – still proud of that!) and controversially, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island – which I think is better than the original. Even now, it still looks incredible. I still remember looking at it 1996 when it came out and thinking the graphics were amazing. Of all the SNES games (bar the excellent Unirally, RIP) I still think it looks incredible.

Time will tell if the hype is all that for the SNES Classic Mini, and I say this as an Owl who has almost permanently had a Dreamcast hooked up to the TV since 1999 and never owned anything past the Xbox 360.

 

 

 

Welcome

Welcome

When Walt Disney opened his ‘Magic Kingdom’ of Disneyland in 1955 he uttered these immortal words;

To all who come to this happy place; welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past…and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America…with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.

Whilst our little blog probably doesn’t deserve such grandiose introductions, the spirit of that introduction rings true for us. This blog will be filled by our musings, as we sail the world in our (metaphorical) pea green boat. We’ll bring you things from history, stories from the present, and visions of the future yet to be. We are the owl, and the pussycat, and both our monikers (and the title of this blog) were inspired by the Edward Lear poem.

Either way, I hope you enjoy this little corner of the internet.

Hip hip!