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ok, not sure if this is gonna be long and annoying or short and sweet, so i'm just gonna hide it all behind a cut anyway...




OK, so whats been going on...?

Glasto was great fun... inspite of, actually, no... because of the mud... I love muddy years, it just adds something to the whole experience... as well as 10lbs to each boot! Of course, with the whole bronchitis thing, it was also really hard work... and I was back at camp by about 10-10:30 every night just too exhausted to keep going... the nice thing about being camped on the side where we were though is that the Pyramid is perfectly audible in your tent... so although I didn't see some of the bands I wanted to, I heard them...

The "stewarding" that we were doing wasn't really strenuous; it wasn't really stewarding, we were just lumped in with them from an admin point of view... Bag For Life Hander-Outer is probably a more apt job title... although some of us did do the festival's stewarding training and did do a 'proper' stewarding thing on the saturday up in Lost Vagueness on the railway line, where they were expecting a major queue and wanted stewards to be there to answer questions, etc... they had a "secret" Madness gig and then Fat Boy Slim playing... big secret when they announced on the festival website, but still...!

So yeah, glasto was good... *^^* can't wait till next time!

A bit after that, we did another festival, the Port Elliot Lit Fest, down in Cornwall... its a little literary festival (after Glasto, its tiny!)... one of the organisers knows Anne from Glasto and asked us to take some inflatables as he always liked them there.

I didn't actually get to see very much of the festival at all cos I was busy working on the control software for the Fine Particulate Screen, but what I did see was cool... and the nasty weather went around us, so we had sun most of the time... it was breezy, admittedly... and it greyed over a few times and there were a few showers, but it never really rained, except for on the sunday night... and we'd worked out that the weather had turned (the wind and the air just felt totally different), so we had everything down and packed up by about 1am, including the caravan awning... so nothing at all got wet!

I don't know if we'll be back there in the future... they're having a year off next year, and Anne hopes to be doing stuff with Weymouth Council around the same time for the next few years atleast, with a view to being involved with the Olympics in 2012 when Weymouth and Portland are hosting the sailing events. They want to build up to the 2012 event with a series of events/festivals/somethings (I don't know exactly what...) over the next few years as a gradual introduction to dealing with that size of event.

Work on our Fine Particulate Screen system is now coming together; I have a couple of niggles to work out of the control software and we need to do a bit more work to get a better spray from the backwash system, but all in all its nearly ready to go out to work...

And having said that, I can't remember if I've ever actually said what this thing is... I may just have referred to it as a machine for water treatment or something... so I guess it might be worthwhile to say what it is and does...

If I've understood this right, one of the things that the "Compliance" of a waste water treatment works is dependent upon, and that is checked up on by the Environment Agency is the amount of small particles in the final effluent that gets returned to the water courses... if its outside the Compliance, the site fails its Compliance and the water company get told off and have to sort it out.. there may be a fine in there too. Anyway, apparently quite a lot of sites are close to failing their Compliance because of these fine particles... and they drag over tests closer to failure too... I'm not sure which, I'd guess probably the levels of oxygen and nitrogen or ammonia, but don't quote me on that...

So that's where this machine comes in... its essentially a big very fine seive (less than 100 microns if I'm remembering right... 75 rings a bell)... but it needs to be able to clean itself and run unattended for weeks and months and years....

So yeah, after a couple of false starts with one type of logic controller (PLC), a Zelio unit, which just didn't have the program storage capacity for what we need, I'm not working on programming a Twido unit... and as I say, I have a couple of niggles to iron out... nothing really major... I have a functional system with my v0.3.0 program... it just doesn't behave 100% how I want...

I've fixed one of the problems - the backwash pump needs a short delay before it fires up, and this was getting skipped on every run except the very first one after the program was uploaded... it needed a variable to get reset and I forgot to add it in for v0.3.0

So now I have two more to sort out.

The first I may have already fixed; it seems to have gone away anyway... I just want to test it a bit more aggressively to make sure I can't trip it up... that is that for some reason, the plant initialisation routine was getting slightly stuck and needed the start button pressing an extra time to fire the machine up after an Emergency Stop...

The only other thing is that the program is falling through something that it should stop at... and I can't see why... this time I'm pretty sure the variables that control it are set/reset correctly... so its annoying me!

Anyway, we're taking it on site tomorrow for a proper test session, rather than having it running with barrels and stuff in my driveway!

My car is a poorly little Clio at the moment... I didn't drive her for quite a long spell; no income meaning I didn't really want to waste fuel just driving for fun, and her battery managed to go flat-flat... we managed to jump start her, and I took her out for a spin and we charged the battery up, but then I left her for a few weeks cos I was busy and now she won't even jump :-( I really need to get her to the car doctor at some point soon... I may not drive alot, but its nice to know that I can just take off if the mood takes me... and to be honest, it would be nice to disappear for a few days after this PLC programming is done...

I got some news about my transition... my GP has heard from Leeds Gender Clinic, saying that I'm at the top of their waiting list (!yay!) but that there is some confusion, as they think I'm being seen in London... now this is totally wrong; the only GIC I put my name on the waiting list for is Leeds... so I don't know where this idea has come from. So I need to see my GP and get her to knock some heads together sort out the misunderstanding... maybe then I can get the assessment done and I can stop worrying about it... cos its really rather scary... the assessor basically has the power to say "no, you're not gender dysphoric, sorry" and shut the NHS route off totally... and I have no idea if there's an appeals process....... so yeah, spot the scared little girl... -gulp-

Oh yeah, the Bronchitis seems to have cleared up completely happily... I have a Lung Function Test on August 10th though to make sure there's no permanent damage.

OK, thats it for now... Looks like the cut was a good idea.... it got rather big in here!