Thursday, 15 November 2012

Upgrade For Android

Just upgraded blogger for my Samsung Galaxy Y. So far I like it. I like that I can view the blog from my phone now and not just the posts in the editor.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Important Appointment

I got a letter from the road safety authority today. I have an appointment for a driving test. I'm not ready at all. I'll get in touch with my driving instructor and get advice on how to proceed. I need to get my learner permit renewed and take more lessons.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Fantasy Race Track (Part 2)

In my previous post I described the Formula Opel circuit which runs through a village. Now I will describe the Grand Prix circuit which was designed beside it a couple of years later. I will try to describe it how I reckon a formula 1 car would get around a lap.
The lap starts at the bottom of the picture. Out of the final turn and downhill past the grid markings flat out in top gear. At the bottom of the hill is a tight right and out of turn one you go uphill to a bridge over pit lane exit. The original design went right straight after the pits but I lengthened the straight to make space for more pit garages recently and the pit exit was influenced by the Abu Dhabi circuit in that it goes underneath the track. Anyway, up to third gear by turn two and turning left leveling on to a long straight, underneath the bridge into the paddock, where you reach 7th gear again. Turn 3 is a flat out top gear left and then a downhill straight, still in 7th, to turn 4. This is the fastest part of the circuit, I reckon. Turn 4 is the lowest turn on the Grand Prix circuit. Rising up slightly out of it in 4th gear, it levels off on to another 7th gear straight. At the end of that straight is a flat out kink left up and over a crest and levels (still in 7th) to a long right hand sweep to a left/right s - enter the left in 4th, exit the right in 3rd. The club pit straight is straight on but the Grand Prix circuit turns hairpin left. Out of the hairpin into a double right that's essentially a hairpin right and immediately into a long left hand-sweeper. Accelerating up through the gears along this turn from 1st or 2nd, you get to about 3rd at the right hand kink on to a short bit of a straight. Then it dips down into the tight 2nd gear right hander before the long back straight at the top of the picture. Uphill out of the corner on to the back straight. It levels off as you get to 3rd and starts a slight incline from about 5th gear. Reaching 7th gear along the back straight and keeping your foot on the throttle for the right hand kink that I call the North Curve for obvious reasons. At the top of that hill you change down to 4th gear for the long right hand turn I call TCBS (The Corner Before the esses). Then you level off and change up to 5th gear before reaching a section inspired by the Becketts section of Silverstone. Enter the esses in 5th and exit in 3rd. Then it's a quick blast to another right/left esses with high kerbs and unforgiving run-off to stop cars cutting here. That esses is taken balancing on the throttle in 3rd and exits as you change up to 4th. Then it's on to another 7th gear straight that is slightly downhill. Then it's hard on the brakes and down to 1st for a tight hairpin right, leveling off, into a section I call the left-hand complex. There is a link road to the second last corner that cuts out the left-hand complex but it's really only an escape road. Square left out of the right hand hairpin and a quick blast and up to 2nd gear for the next left. Slightly longer stretch and up to 3rd and feathering the throttle for the next left. Then a quick blast of throttle again and brake and down to 1st for the square right away from the left-hand complex. Then the long straight to the final corner. At the start of the straight you can hear the engine note diminish slightly after changing to 2nd as you go up a short but steep hill. Then it levels off again and you accelerate up to 7th gear. A long blast in 7th for the rest of the lap right around to turn 1. There is a slight incline before the final turn which is the highest point of both circuits. A daunting turn, like 130R at Suzuka in reverse, except wide enough to take a couple of lines through it. It's taken flat out in 7th. Although it was originally inspired by Woodcote at Silverstone. Then it's out of the final turn and downhill past the grid markings for another lap.

Fantasy 2-in-1 Race Track

I was looking at a diagram of the new Circuit of the Americas race track in Austin, Texas. Home to the U.S. Grand Prix Formula 1 race this year. It inspired me to upload a diagram of a fantasy race track I designed in the late 1990s. It has some similarities to Circuit of the Americas but was designed long before it. There is a street circuit beside a permanent, purpose-built circuit with link roads to combine the 2 for the option of a le Mans-style race. The street circuit is 4.25km (2.64 miles). It is top-left of the picture. I call it the Formula Opel circuit after the premier single-seater racing series in Ireland at the time. Beside it is the 7.15km (4.44 miles) Grand Prix circuit with link roads and short circuit options.
The Formula Opel circuit is unique for a circuit that is not figure-of-eight in that, counting chicanes as more than one turn, it has as many left turns as it does right: 22 in all (11 left, 11 right). It starts out anti-clockwise. Past the pits at the start of the lap into a fast left hand sweep and downhill to the lowest point of both circuits, a left, right, left chicane. Then a short straight, slightly uphill, to an esses. It levels off and crosses a dual carriageway into a tricky right and then the slow, tight hairpin left. A short straight before dipping down into another s bend. Rising up from the slightly banked exit onto a relatively long straight. Then a slightly banked left before a tight hairpin left. It drops down into 2 right hand turns in quick succession that take you into the village and the true street circuit part of the track. It is pretty much a purpose-built design from turn 1 to the hairpin before the village except where it crosses the dual carriageway. The rest is street circuit and public road to turn 1 just after the pits. Coming out of the double right-hander, you enter the village up a hill and then it levels off about a third of the way along that street. Then there is a tight right hander at a junction of the end of that street and a wide side street split down the middle by a barrier that takes you into an old farm yard. The circuit dips down and rises up into the farm yard right handed before a left hairpin bend and dips down and rises up again and levels off out of the farm along the other side of the street with the barrier in the middle. Back at the junction you turn right into an old creamery yard and turn left around the creamery coming back out along the other side of the village. There is a bit of a straight here and it drops downhill about 2 thirds of the way along that straight and turns right out of the village and levels off. Still on the public road, there is a short straight and then a right hand turn on to the start/finish straight. You can use the hill up to where the road merges with the dual carriageway as banking to maintain speed out of the final corner. The dual carriageway is off to the left but the circuit follows the junction off it on to a small country road modified to become the start/finish straight for the races. Then its full throttle past the pits for another lap. The hatched areas on the top of the picture are the built up areas of the village. To the left of that you can make out the grid markings and pit & paddock area. 
The bottom of the picture is where the Grand Prix circuit lap starts. The pit & paddock and main grandstand areas are here. Nearer to the Formula Opel circuit is a link road that makes up the pit straight of the small Kart track and the Club circuit. The Club circuit is basically the section of the Grand Prix circuit next to the village in reverse. You can make out the pit & paddock areas for the Club and Kart circuits parallel to each other. There is also a long link road about a third of the way up the picture for extra short circuit options. There are a couple of link roads that link the hairpin on the Formula Opel circuit just before the village to the Club circuit area of the Grand Prix circuit so that you can link the 2 for a le Mans-style super lap of 11.4km (7.08 miles). I'll post more in the next blog.

Friday, 9 November 2012


I woke up Tuesday morning and felt as though the fluid was bubbling back into my kidneys as though my bladder was too full. So I tried to go to the toilet but I was stood there for a good while waiting and nothing was coming out. It was about 6:00 so I went back to bed. I felt backed up and uncomfortable but I managed to get a bit more rest. The following day I made an appointment to see a doctor. The receptionist said she couldn't fit me in unless it was urgent. I decided to risk the early Thursday slot. I managed to go a couple of times during the day but it was difficult to get a decent flow. I started to worry. But I ate and drank as normal during the day. I went to the doctor the next morning after breakfast. She examined me and couldn't find anything wrong with my bladder or kidney area just from the feel of it. She was quite abrupt with me and this made me uncomfortable, making me worry more. She took blood and arranged a scan but she said it'll take weeks for the scan appointment and probably around 2 weeks for the blood test result. Before I left I asked if there was anything more she could do and she said not at the moment. So I went home anxious and upset but not able to tell her how I was feeling because she was so abrupt with me during the examination. I was not really able to go for the rest of the day and, worried at the prospect of having to put up with this until either something went wrong or the scan appointment letter came through, I decided to go see the doctor again. She examined me again but said pretty much the same thing. So I told her exactly how I felt about nothing being done and how upset I was. She said worrying about it was only making me more tense so making the problem worse. She also said it was difficult to feel if things were genuinely worse down there with an empty bladder. The only thing I had to eat that day was an orange. No appetite from worrying. She gave me a prescription for something to ease my nerves and help me relax and stop worrying.
I went home and tried to go and amazingly there was a bit of a flow! I had a long overdue breakfast at around 4:10 in the evening after drinking plenty water. There wasn't much of a flow but I managed to go twice more. I'll keep drinking fluids and keep trying like the doctor said. If I experience any pain over the weekend the doctor told me where the out of hours caredoc place is and I have their number anyway.
I never got the prescription tablets. I'm just going to try to wind down from the stress of this week on my own. Also if I do experience worse symptoms I don't want to be too chilled out or drowsy to do anything about it. Maybe I would have relaxed enough to function properly if I'd taken them. But I don't want to depend on pills for emotional stability. I'd rather get that from a nice girlfriend. I'm looking if there are any nice ladies out there!