UnusualAttitude

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  1. Hey ho, boys and girls and anyone else who is still listening. Yes I do, sort of. I've just about finished the long and painful process of updating The Camwise Log's savefile to... ahem... KSP 1.3.1 (you know me by now, always a bit outdated....). The process took about two weeks of what little spare time I have and involved killing off many vessels, rebuilding most of the rest of my fleet and hyperediting the modified craft into place. Please excuse the (slight) cosmetic changes in some of the vehicles: I hope most of them will go unnoticed. My first task was to finish the ten-hour long burn to set Camwise on his way to Jupiter. Fun times. My usual (bad) habit when I update is to spend far too long messing around with the various new parts and engines that I somehow manage to cram into my bloated GameData file. So, most of the next month will probably be spent crashing a variety of new aircraft and rockets. The forecast for the space centre will be "heavy debris fall with some finer spells later" for a while. Only then will I tackle the gargantuan task of getting my characters out into the depths of the outer Sol system before they die of old age. I am truly sorry this is all taking so long, but I will have a bit more time now that my house is actually starting to look like a house. You also have @NotAgain to blame for my return. Meeting him during his epic Tour D'Europe reminded me that I should keep this going before any readers I still have also die of old age... See you all soonTM.
  2. Good luck and have fun on your cycling tour. It sounds like a pretty epic project. If your journey takes you anywhere near Toulouse, drop me a PM and I'll be your lead out guy for the stage finish. Or buy you a coffee. Or something.
  3. I'm quite the unproductive writer at the moment also, but thank you so much for dropping in and taking time to share your thoughts. This will get back on track eventually. I'm just hindered by the slight inconvenience of renovating a house right now. Wow, that JJ guy has some voice. I've always found it crazy how many great bands and artists come from Iceland. We humans can be pretty scary creatures at times, yeah. You don't need to search too hard for some awesomely terrifying aspects of human nature. This is where most of my inspiration comes from, with just a dash of Kerbal wackiness to keep things entertaining as our character's situations go from bad to worse.
  4. Dunno, but the "Jupiter Six" Challenge looks like a thinly-disguised KSP reference to me.
  5. It is, although I've got next to nothing done in the past month or so. My life is all work, no play at the moment I'm afraid. I know I left you guys with a bit of a cliffhanger. I'll be back with more as soon as I can.
  6. Zis ees France, Monsieur Deeman, and we call zis la courgette and we put zis in la ratatouille. 'Ow could you dream of making la ratatouille with - 'ow do you say - le zucchini....?! Mon dieu! All of this casual, effortless chilli growing from you folks living in hotter climates is making me jealous. Just wait until my Habanero Chocolate Browns are ripe!
  7. I'd love to see some pics... So, early April and we have got a lot of stuff done... despite some tasks taking much longer than expected. For a start, I underestimated the amount of topsoil I would need for my raised beds by a full order of magnitude. So I made up for my mathematical ineptitude with hard work and in the end, shifted a total of about twelves tonnes of biosphere with just a shovel and a wheelbarrow. All this was done with my various domesticated creatures hanging around and making fun of my plight. Next, fertilizer to bring my garden to life. Because I have just moved in, I haven't produced any compost of my own yet, so I went in search of a local dealer. Fortunately I now live in horse country and I am surrounded by riding schools and equestrian centres. I made my way to the nearest one, less than a mile away. The landlord pointed me to a great steaming pile at the bottom of his field and told me to help myself. So now our beds are just about ready... Meanwhile, indoors our seedlings have been sprouting. Unfortunately we lack a good bay window that would be ideal for this sort of thing. Not enough light. I envy your atrium, @tater. We have invested in a proper greenhouse this year. It is quickly filling up, though.
  8. ...or maybe Katherine jammed her rudder pedal with her snack-box. Foreign objects in the cockpit are a common cause of loss of control. It happened to me just the other night... It also happened on an A330 MRTT to this poor guy.
  9. What, as in "Hey chums, if one can fly a Sopwith Camel then landing Quissac on jolly old Terra Firma should be a piece of cake, eh? Good show!"? Having done both (virtually), I must say flying the Sopwith Camel is a vastly more pleasant experience. Quissac: looks like a fish, moves like a fish, steers like a cow.
  10. He is, but the situation he's in is totally Belgium, man... Belgium.
  11. Hmmm... But which one is the other's Tyler Durden? Is it Bartdon for Camwise, who is insecure, facing a lot of personal issues, and despite having a strong moral compass wishes he could be just a little more bold, brash and straight-to-the-point? Or is it Camwise for Bartdon, who is too sure of himself, steady as the proverbial rock but deep down afraid of growing old, and unable to adapt to change or thinking out of the box...? Hmmm... dammit. That's just ruined my chances of doing anything productive this evening... (goes off muttering in deep thought).
  12. Quissac has a robust reaction control system, so I wouldn't be too worried about holding attitude. The hull should survive. It's the other bits sticking out and the squishy life forms inside the hull that we should be worried about... This is one of the things I actually like about first person narration (although it has me ripping my greying hair out at times and with hindsight, and I might not have chosen this form if I had known just how far I would take this story). Bartdon is writing his own story so he can tell it however he damn well likes, including getting you hooked with a short preview of the drama before he gets to the less exciting backstory of his return from Mars. I don't know if you were thinking of this (the record scratch..?), but this reminds me of the opening scene of Fight Club, one of my all-time favourite movies (and books, too).
  13. YEAR 13, DAY 121. BARTDON. “Sorry, boss. We're screwed. The docking latches are completely jammed. ” Mitzon's unhelpful diagnosis of the situation already sounded like a death sentence. “Blast! Stop being so pessimistic, boy!” I boomed at our Second Engineer who was out on EVA, desperately trying to think of a way to free our shuttle Quissac from the hulking fuel tank latched on to its tail. “Get back in here. I happen to have a plan, and I need your expert opinion on just how damned marvellous a plan it is.” “Twenty minutes to atmosphere, PI.” Munvey's voice cut in from Quissac's cockpit. There was no trace of fear or judgement in his tone, but the harsh truth was there nonetheless. If we didn't come up with some way of shedding that tank in the very near future, our already slim chances of making it down intact would be dashed. But let's back up for a moment. I have to tell you how we got into this damned mess. After many months in space returning from Mars, we came screaming in to capture at Earth on board the odd-looking assembly of Quissac and what remained of the crew ship Laroque. This burn used most of our remaining fuel, and left us in a highly eccentric orbit that grazed the top of the Earth's atmosphere at perigee. Mission Control wanted us to get home safely, so they launched the chemically fuelled tug that they had designed and built at great expense in order to slow us into a low, stable orbit. From there, we would be just a short spaceplane flight from our first fresh food in nearly three years. The Board wanted us dead, but couldn't resort to leaving us to rot in space without risking an immediate revolt of most of the Space Centre's staff. Therefore, their only logical course of action would be ordering their agents within the Space Centre's ground crew to sabotage the rescue mission and make it look like a malfunction or an accident. I damn well knew that those blasted pen-pushers would try to stop me from getting home. Indeed, their intentions turned out to be oh-so predictable. Despite being a massive affair consisting of a hydrolox tank almost as large as Quissac herself, the tug didn't quite have enough bang to bring Laroque in. Shortly before rendez-vous at perigee, we space-hopped over to our shuttle, where we would sit out the wait for the final stage of our journey. As proper procedure would have it, I was the last to leave and slip across the few metres of vacuum into Quissac's cargo bay. As I drifted across the gap between the two craft, the first light of orbital dawn filtered through the Earth's upper atmosphere. I turned to look at the place I had called home for the past three years one last time. The mighty ship Laroque loomed silently behind me, catching the sun's first rays. Her centrifuge modules were still at last, frozen in their final position as if to salute our departure. Mars had not been kind to her. Her own makers had tried to destroy her. They had failed, Laroque had endured and as a result we had lived to tell the tale. Farewell, old boat. There was little time for reminiscence however. Our rendez-vous with the tug was approaching and timing was crucial. Just minutes after I entered the airlock, our emergency supply of delta-vee showed up and latched onto Quissac's tail. Less than a minute after hard docking was confirmed, Karanda had already pulled the plug on Laroque and Munvey was steering us clear so that Mission Control's preprogrammed circularisation burn could begin. Nothing appeared to be wrong at this point. In hindsight, I do recall a rather hefty bump when the docking clamps pulled the tug into position, but it seemed insignificant at the time. I must admit that I had expected bad things to happen during re-entry, not while we were still in orbit. It was Munvey who spotted the first sign of trouble. He had been hawkishly watching the orbital parameters as the long burn progressed and immediately realised that something was amiss when the tug's main engine didn't cut out at the appropriate moment. Having reshaped our highly elliptical orbit into something resembling a circle, the rescue craft continued to push our perigee downwards until the lowest part of our trajectory began to dip into the Earth's atmosphere. “Omelek, target perigee overshoot, requesting immediate engine cut-off,” he droned. “Copy that, Quissac. Manoeuvre programme override, engine cut-off selected.” Nothing changed. The vibration of the rocket motor through the hull continued and we remained glued to our couches, the acceleration rising as the tanks emptied. “Omelek, the engine is still thrusting,” said Munvey, stoic as ever. Enough. I flicked my own microphone open. “Dammit! Did any one of you incompetent bunch of interns down there hear what my pilot just said? You're sending us into the blasted atmosphere! Cut that damned rocket now, or I will have you sent up here yourselves to plug it with your own worthless behinds!” A moment after I finished speaking, the rumble of the engine cut out with a bang and we were on the float once more. Next to me, Karanda stared at her console in disbelief. Lisabeth drew in her breath sharply, then a deafening silence fell upon Quissac's crew cabin. It was broken by Mission Control's next unhelpful observation. “Quissac, the rescue tug appears to have run out of fuel.” “Look Mission Control, why don't you all push off on a damned vacation and find someone who will tell us something we don't know instead, eh? What the hell just happened, Omelek?” “The burn lasted longer than intended. You are suborbital. We're working on it.” Let them work on it. As always, we'd have to deal with this ourselves. “TP, what's our status?” I barked. “Perigee is below fifty klicks, PI,” said Munvey. “If we don't take immediate action, we will hit the Karman line in thirty-five minutes.” “Does Quissac have enough fuel left to raise our perigee? Karanda? Mitzon?” There was a moment of silence as two the engineers calculated feverishly. Karanda was quickest on the draw. “Yes, if we jettison the tug and burn immediately.” “Do it, dammit.” “Copy that PI.” Karanda punched some buttons on her console, overriding the tugs preprogrammed instructions and selecting an immediate emergency jettison of the craft. A couple of thumps resonated through the hull as docking latches unlocked, then Karanda's face glowed crimson as warning messages flashed across her screen. She turned to me, wide eyed. “Jettison procedure has failed. The tug is stuck on our tail.” So this is how you intended to get rid of us. A navigational software error coupled with a docking latch malfunction. Clever. I didn't expect that. You're getting slower these days, Bartdon... “Suit up, SE,” I snarled. “Quick as you damned like. You go first to assess the situation. Emergency vent. I'll cycle through the airlock after you. We get that tug off of our tail if we have to rip it off with our bare hands.” “Alrighty, PI,” said Mitzon snapping his visor shut and checking his tool belt. He was right on the ball, for once. As our Second Engineer disappeared into the airlock I looked down through the hatch at our pilot sitting in the cockpit below. Munvey: quiet, skilful, cool-headed. One of the best. “TP, what are our chances of getting this ship down with at least some of its occupants still breathing?” I wanted to know. Munvey looked back up at me, one eyebrow raised ever so slightly. “Landing Quissac on Earth? PI, you do realise that this shuttle was designed to land on Mars? Once. She has already been down there twice, as well as to Phobos, and has spent many months in deep space...” “Yes, yes. I happen to have a doctorate in physics, TP. That means that, amongst other things, I am qualified to count to two and much more. Look, I get the fact that re-entry will be sketchy. I also know our Chief Engineer's habit of over-building things. If we make it through, can you put her down?” Munvey thought about it for a moment. “Well, technically, no. Quissac has insufficient thrust to make a safe powered landing in Earth's gravity. But...” “But, what? It's the buts I'm interested in here, TP.” “It might be possible to glide her in and use the engines to slow her enough to soften the impact. I will have to stall her at just the right moment and cut our rate of descent. The wheels might just hold, assuming we hit dry land...” “And what are our chances of making a successful reentry with that damned tug attached?” I ventured. He then did something I'd never seen him do before. He laughed. “Non-existent, PI. That's simply not going to happen.” “Good! At least that's settled, then. Give me a moment.” I slipped out of my harness and pushed off to the back of the crew cabin where I'd stowed the kit-bag that had made the journey across from Laroque clipped to my belt. It contained the few personal effects I had brought with me for the short journey back to Earth. I rummaged through sets of spare clothes and my favourite towel until my fingers finally touched the cold surface of a metal box. Still there, eh? Maybe you will come in handy after all. Now, what was that six-digit code, again, dammit..? Time to get our engineer out of harm's way. He was doing more harm than good out there by complaining how screwed we were, anyway. I met Mitzon as he came back in through the airlock. There was no time to explain. I shoved the explosive charge under his nose and asked him where I should stick it. “PI,” he stammered, looking at the explosives with horror. “That's crazy, dude, I mean...” “As things stand, this happens to be our last shot at avoiding a fiery end.” “But...” “I'm not asking for your approval, boy! Just tell me where I should stick this in order to blow that damned tug off of our tail.” “Well...” he closed his eyes and pictured the tug mentally. “Attach it to the forward bulkhead inside the avionics bay. Hopefully, the blast will be deflected backwards by the bulkhead and blow the fuel tank free. Make sure you close the bay doors once you've placed the charge, or the blast will be ineffective. I'll tell Karanda to transfer all remaining fuel to the forward tanks.” “Thank you, SE. That's all I need to know,” I said and snapped my visor shut. “I'll be back in a jiffy. Tell the others to get their helmets on and to be ready for anything.” With that, I threw myself into the airlock. It took me just under five minutes to vent, egress and make my way out to the tug. We had all been through some pretty sticky situations on this mission, but there is a very special kind of feeling when going EVA whilst suborbital. The sound of my old heart beating pounded in my ears. My oh-two consumption rate must have been record-breaking. But damn it all, I felt alive. I wrenched open the bay doors and slapped the explosive charge on the forward bulkhead, as per instructed. I fiddled with the timer, trying to remember. It had been literally years since Froemone had showed me how it worked. I settled on a three minute delay, which meant that my trip back would have to be even shorter. But maybe, just maybe there would be a window left open to correct our orbit, assuming the explosion had the desired effect. “Three minutes... mark! Fire in the damned hole, boys and gals! Buckle up!” I yelled as I pushed off back to the relative safety of Quissac's cargo bay, willing my KMU to carry me faster than ever. I made it. Barely. I was pulling the airlock door closed and attempting to raise Munvey when the fireworks went off. “This is Bartdon. Come in TP, I'm-” Boom. The shockwave swept through Quissac's hull as if she were made of paper. The airlock bulkheads flexed in and out again as if the entire vessel was a living, breathing creature. As the venting system cycled and air rushed back in, I could clearly make out the ominous creaks and groans that signalled the aftermath of some major trauma. Would the hull hold? “CE, report!” I snapped nervously, praying for coms to be still intact. “Aft docking port is, um, missing in action,” came Karanda's voice, loud and clear. “Rear fuel tanks are compromised, as expected. Airfoil actuators appear to be nominal, although I can't make any promises as to the shape of the control surfaces themselves...” “But that damned tug, Karanda! Did we break free?” “Well, I can see it drifting away through the upper windows, so I assume we did.” It worked, dammit! “So, old gal. Give me the bad news.” “None that I can think of, PI. We have a perfectly functional Mars shuttle... The only problem is that the planet we are about to land on is not Mars.”
  14. You misunderstood. I didn't mean that it is impossible to improvise a piece of music on the violin. Sure you can. I meant that without skilled instruction and a lot of practice, it is (almost) impossible to get a violin to make a nice sound unless you have rare and unique abilities. Conversely, I first picked up an electric bass guitar when I was 14 and after a few weeks of plucking and blisters, and no lessons, I could jam along to Nirvana with my school friends. It took me years to get actually good at bass, of course, but I managed to play along and have fun initially with relatively little effort. To me, orbital mechanics feels much more like learning the violin than the bass guitar. Just sayin'.
  15. Poor teacher. In his/her defense, understanding orbital mechanics is like playing the violin. It cannot be improvised. I studied many different fields of physics at university level, but I was completely clueless about orbital mechanics until I started playing KSP.
  16. Indeed. My credo is only relevant to the boring 98% of life. And being neither ex-military nor a member of the first response services, my opportunities for making life-or-death decisions have been few and far between (and I consider myself lucky to be able to say this). But I think I get what you mean. May I remember it when the time comes... Wowzers. That's about the age of my son. He's an enthusiastic reader, but he wouldn't touch something as convoluted and technical as this with a bargepole. I'm humbled, and I find it seriously cool to be posting this on a forum where it is appreciated by both young sprouts and old farts alike... Thank you. This is fuel for my efforts. (I hope you don't regret it.) Personally, I started feeling a little better about Life, the Universe and Everything when I reached thirty.
  17. Dammit. Those New Mexico Chilies sound appealing, but unfortunately, according to the French Embassy website, you could only send me (I quote): - Fresh cut flowers (with or without leaves) - Celery stalks - Leaves of aromatic plants (mint, basil, thyme, chervil, tarragon, cilantro, chives, sage, etc) ...but not "vegetables, aromatic plants and herbs (except those that have been dried, frozen, crushed or cooked)". And, unfortunately "seeds and grains". Ho hum. You're very welcome to send me some New Mexican celery stalks, I suppose. Or some frozen chillies. Also... "For example: 10 kiwi fruits could be brought to France as long as the total weight is less than 5 kg, or 7kg of watermelon could be brought to France as long as the total number of watermelons does not exceed 5 specimens." Better limit those kiwis to 500 grammes... lol.
  18. Short answer: yes. Tell us about it. What sort of algae? What sort of bottle? Why? Tasty seaweed to supplement your ramen, or spirulina superfoods that my hipster friends tell me are the future of nutrition? Or something...?
  19. I truly believe that this is exactly the right frame of mind with which to approach life. Doubt everything. Question all things. Always. Including (and most importantly) yourself. However, if you can't trust me to (eventually) come up with another episode of The Logs, then you haven't been paying attention. Wow, dude. From your previous comments I just realised that you must have started reading this crap when you were, what.. 13, 14...? That's impressive.
  20. Now, a couple of weeks ago I moved into a new place. This time, it happens to be my place (I mortgaged my soul to a bank for the next twenty-five years for the privilege of saying so), so I can do whatever I damn well like out the back. Here you can see the initial state of affairs. The house is conveniently situated to one side of my plot, leaving plenty of room for agricultural activities. In the long run, some re-landscaping may be performed. There is a gravel path around the house that doesn't really need to be that wide, and trees and shrubs that I will have to work around. But this year, because there is so much work to be done inside the house itself, we will be going down the road of least resistance and making do with what we have. Until this autumn, every free day I have to work on my house or garden must count and must be productive. All this must happen on a relatively limited budget. First there's that lawn to get rid of if we want to plant a variety of delicious vegetables. We could spend several days of back-breaking, blister-inducing work removing it with a fork and spade, or we could buy or hire a rotovator, burn two-stroke petrol mix and disrupt the topsoil's natural equilibrium. Or we could get smart. Last spring, I visited a small market garden outside Toulouse that was created by a couple of baggy trouser-wearing, straw hat-flaunting dudes called Michael and Hervé. Despite their terrible taste in music, I was impressed by their project that applied all of the major principles of permaculture. In time, I decided that I would attempt to apply elements of permaculture in my garden. But back to this grass-removing business. I decided that the obvious solution would be raised beds with a bit of lasagna. Naturally, I had plenty of cardboard left over from my recent move, as well as timber formwork from a bunch of very well-built shelves that the house's previous owner (now deceased) had installed in the workshop on the ground floor. It took me just a few hours to put this timber and cardboard to good use and lay out the shape of the raised beds in the northwest corner of my garden. Next week, I will take delivery of a tonne-and-a-half of topsoil mixed with compost from a local company to fill these beds. Please note that this is because I'm impatient, I'm pressed for time and I'm starting from scratch. This could be done for zilch with very little extra effort. Anyone can produce their own compost (as I will be doing as of this year), and wherever you live, I'll bet that your local classified ads are full of people begging to get rid of cubic metres of topsoil because they are digging out their new swimming pool. This week I also took delivery of my seeds. These come from the non-profit organisation Kokopelli based in the foothills of the Pyrenean mountains. I've never met these guys but I'm pretty sure that their pants are even baggier than Hervé's, and they strive for plant species diversity and would gladly take a flamethrower to anything GMO or F1 Hybrid. I'll just leave you with a mosaic of the delights I will attempt to grow this year, including multicoloured carrots, maize, chilli peppers and melons. The ultimate prize will be, as always, good quality tomatoes and this year, habanero chocolate brown chilli peppers. I will update as soon as I manage to get my greenhouse upright. Happy growing, everyone!
  21. Hail fellow gardeners from all horizons! Happy new season! I would like to resurrect this thread for 2018 because I have ambitious plans for this year (more about this below). But first a look back on the results of 2017. Uncle Jim's Tomatoes, Courgettes (as always) and radishes. About 10 kg of red and yellow onions hanging out to dry. Can't remember how many kilos of tomatoes we harvested, but enough for tomato sauce well into the winter season, and some left over to be preserved. Awesome.
  22. I find your lack of faith disturbing... I'm just a little busy at the moment. Look at the state of my living room... As I mentioned above, I have just bought a house and there is a massive amount of work to be done. Basically, we're adding the entire ground floor (which is currently a garage and workshop) as living space. Insulation is non-existent, and the electrics are a mess. Only then we can get on to actually furnishing the place. And although it doesn't feel like it, spring will be here soon. Compared to my old garden, I now have huge tracts of land to play with, relatively speaking. We received our seeds this morning, including some Habanero peppers that look awesome, clocking 500,000 on the Scoville scale. The 2018 edition of The Gardening Thread should be epic. And with all this happening, I somehow still managed to find time to record my bass lines for an EP with a new band. The next episode is actually in progress. It's just that I usually fall asleep in front of my computer after a few lines. Patience, I'll get there in the end.
  23. Gotta love the arm resting casually on the car door. Don't Panic? Huh, bring it on, Mars!
  24. I guess all the cash went to a retirement home for bats with PTSD. Still, at least you demonstrated the bat orbital insertion is repeatable. I'm looking forward to hearing the ultrasonic squeaks of the first bat on the Moon.
  25. I don't think so, and the original thread got deleted. I think the curseforge download page is still there, though.