I miss street candids

The older Tabitha gets, the more I need to keep my eye on her when we're out. And, being honest, the more our time outside is occupied by general conversation. She's really great to talk to.

This, of course, means that I don't really walk around people-watching like I could when she was younger. Unless it's something huge happening right in my face, like this guy trying to take an ultra-low-angle portrait of his friend with an entire church steeple as the background. 10-out-of-10 for committing to the idea. It sorta looks like camera capoeira; peaceful and violent. I just wish I rolled a shallower depth of field by default. This would've benefitted from the background being less distracting.

In the unlikely event that this is you, please can I see the photo?

Smash Lunch Club

I've never really been into Smash. It always felt like such a silly format for a 2D fighting game when I came up on games like Street Fighter. The fact that all the characters have the same movesets in terms of how you trigger them made me think it was a game reserved for the filthiest of casuals.

Since Nintendo released a tennis-game-which-is-actually-a-fighting-game this year, I have completely re-evaluated Smash and concluded that it is a multiplayer 2D platformer and not a fighting game at all. Now it's all I want to play.

In a similar format to our Mario Kart lunches of old, we have formed a lunchtime Smash fight club of sorts. Salt, cheese and insults are all permitted, and given how good Miles is at the game, and how badly I suck, there's plenty of all of the above!

I love this game. I hate loving things I suck at.

The Music of 2017

Once again resisting the temptation to conform to the masses and list a load of music that just came out, whilst declaring it the best thing of the year, here is a list of my favourite music that came out in 2017. I listen to a tonne of music - pretty much all the time during the week - so for anything to make it past the filter of time and my child-like lack of attention span is an impressive feat!

16 records might seem arbitrary, but life is arbitrary. I went through the list of stuff in my iTunes library (I liked it enough to buy it) and picked the stuff I still listen to and really enjoy. It's not a terribly scientific process, but it's effective. For your convenience, I've made the "Listen to" playlist on Spotify.

In alphabetical order:

All We Expected - Hatàr

Listen to: Conquered, We Conquer

Alpha Male Tea Party - Health

Listen to: No More

Bleachers - Gone Now

Listen to: Don't Take the Money

End - From the Unforgiving Arms of God

Listen to: Usurper

God Mother - Vilseledd

Listen to: Anti Anthem

Helpless - Debt

Listen to: Denied Sale

IDYLLS - The Barn

Listen to: Maslows Dogs

Kendrick Lamar - Damn

Listen to: DNA. But do yourself a favour and listen on Spotify or Apple Music, not YouTube. Better still, get the FLAC or some good MP3s and listen on great headphones or you're going to lose that bass and it's important.

Less Art - Strangled Light

Listen to: Wandering Ghost but you should really listen to the whole thing to appreciate what's going on here. This is a very special record.

Dua Lipa - Dua Lipa

Listen to: New Rules

Pijn - Floodlit

Listen to: The whole damn thing, then listen to Loss which was released in 2018 but I can guarantee it'll be on this list next year.

Rationale - Rationale

Listen to: Somewhere to Belong. This guy's voice is so beautiful it makes me want to crush a flower.

Sannhet - So Numb

Listen to: Sleep Well

Vince Staples - Big Fish Theory

Listen to: Bag Bak, then listen to everything else he's ever done. Then watch any video that has him on YouTube because he's the best.

Watchcries - Wraith

Listen to: Severing Union

Chelsea Wolfe - Hiss Spun

Listen to: Vex

Axe murderers know that axe murder is illegal

Right now, drones are in the news because they're fucking everyone's holiday plans at Christmas. The people responsible have made their point, and they should quit whilst they're ahead but that doesn't seem to be part of the plan.

Self-serving though it may seem, I want to talk about this from the perspective of your friendly neighbourhood amateur drone pilot. Whenever I put my drone in the sky, I observe the Drone Code. These are guidelines set out to make sure that you're not endangering any bystanders whilst flying your drone, and they're basically common sense. Don't fly over crowds or buildings, don't fly near airports, keep your drone in line-of-sight, don't fly too high. Easy.

The problem that pilots are going to encounter in the coming months and years is a villification in the press and the law. I get it. And whilst I am all for legislation and registration, it doesn't solve the problem.

A conscientious pilot flies within the rules, but we're not dealing with conscientious pilots here. Laws aren't going to stop what's happening at Gatwick. You can build an agile, untraceable, operable-at-a-long-distance drone capable of halting a flight for under £500. My understanding is that the people holding up Gatwick this week are flying sophisticated drones and they know what they're doing. They know the rules and they're ignoring them, in the same way that people who exceed speed limits know what they're doing, and axe murderers know what they're doing. Legislation only affects people who adhere to the law in the first place.

The solution to this problem isn't better legislation, it's better counter-measures. There will always be people who ignore the law, and we can't simply say "damn, this action isn't illegal enough".

The people operating at Gatwick are toying with law enforcement because law enforcement is powerless. The people at Gatwick have a plan. They're smart and they're organised.

At best, I have enough battery to last an hour on my drone, and that will land me an unlimited fine and a 5 year sentence if I decide to fuck around. The people at Gatwick know this and they've found a loophole. They're saying "what are you going to do?!" to the police and the army and the police and the army have got nothing.

The police and the army need to get something easily-deployable and with minimal collateral damage fast because this problem isn't going away until they figure it out. The people on the controls aren't going to go "oh shit 10 years let's all stop forever!". They're making a point and that point is we're weak here. Even if the immediate problem goes away, the threat remains until we're ready to handle it wherever it occurs.

Law enforcement needs to see this as an opportunity because we're all lucky that these drones aren't weaponised. Every day people posture about threats at our airports and borders, but this week we have a threat and no-one's able to do anything about it. Yes, the travel inconvenience should piss you off, but the vulnerability should scare you. Legislation is not the solution here. Protecting people, forgetting political egos and doing something is the correct course of action and someone had better realise and get on it soon before people who mean to do real harm start showing up.

One of Tabitha's friends recommended the Narnia Chronicles. I don't know anything about Narnia Chronicles but I'm all about broadening my horizons.

We just finished The Magician's Nephew (we're reading the internal chronological order, not the published order do not @me) and I am captivated. I'm thinking about this book all day. We start reading bedtime stories at 5pm because I want this book in my life.

I realise I could read after Tabitha has gone to bed but, as I've mentioned before, I am not a monster