I am annoyed that Blocks Smartwatch will never see the light of day

I know that you can’t guarantee that a Kickstarter project will come about. But when a project raises $1.5m+ and ends up with less than £20k in the bank you have to ask about why and how that happened. This is the case with the Blocks Smartwatch. It did really well on kickstarter and now is in receivership. I’m annoyed about this.

No one is going to get what they ordered. No one is going to get their money back. How do you turn all that cash into a complete failure? I just don’t know.

It makes me, and I’m guessing the other 500 odd backers, a lot more cautious about putting down money for Kickstarter campaigns that may never see the light of day. I’ve still got a couple that are now years behind schedule and fairly doubtful about. These days I find myself resisting most interesting ideas on Kickstarter simply because of being burnt once already.

I would have liked to have seen this device come to life. I think the idea of modular things, but perhaps it was just never to be.

Quarantine week 1

Like so many people in this country and across the planet, I am isolating myself. Luckily with family, so I’m not totally alone, but nevertheless it is a strange and seemingly sudden change to how we live.

One thing that impresses me is how we have all adapted so very quickly to this new reality. How companies have changed how they work, how authorities have changed how we do things, and how regular citizens have, for the most part, agreed to change how they live their lives.

No one has a clear idea of how long this will take, or how the world will look once it is over. We take things one day at a time now, there’s no other way.

But, on the upside, it is a chance to catch up with loads of things that our busy lives precluded us from doing. Listening, reading, experimenting and making. Personally I’m finding that there’s time for a doing a range of things that I’ve been meaning to get to for ages now.

Perhaps I’ll post about some of the things I’m finding time to do.

Whatever you’re up to, whatever you’re finding to fill your time, I hope you’re well and safe.

Stands (part 1)

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You just can’t beat a good stand. Something to put an instrument on, to make it easier to access. However, not all sounds are made equal. This is a ukulele stand I got for Christmas. I always prefer something made in wood rather than metal or plastic, and this has a very natural and organic feel to it. Plus, it works well as a stand.

But this is part 1 for a reason. Because there are instruments that you can’t find stands for, and in those situations you have to try something different. That’s for part 2.

Lunch on the Pullman

This was a rare treat as part of a trip away for a couple of friends’ birthdays. There are very few pullman cars on regular trains, so if you find one it’s well worth going. The one I visited was excellent, both the food and the service.

These kinds of services are dying out as the train operators decide to get rid of them just to make more profit out of us without offering anything in value at all.

I hope that I can find another one in the not too distant future.

Finding my first cassette recorder

When I was about 11 or maybe 12 I really desperately wanted a tape recorder, and for Christmas I got one. It was a fergusson and it looked like this.

I found it again at a very weird museum a few weeks ago. It took me right back. I used to use it for recording myself and later on it was very handy for use with a ZX81 and then with a ZX Spectrum.