Friday, June 26, 2009

Chamone Michael.

The one gloved, plastic surgery experimenting one, is no more. Fifty years of age is pretty damn young for the king of pop to pop his clogs.... I hope someone has the good sense to let the Big Brother contestants know this sad news!!!!!

As for me.... well. I've been taking LOADS of photos..... been walking a bit..... beat the blind, old aged pensioners, to a pulp on the crown green bowling surface.... got drunk..... and today, I've been baking, and baking, and then baking a bit more.

I've made chocolate brownies, hokey pokey coffee cake, and some sundried tomato and parmesan bread. I still need to ice my cake and sort out the walnut praline for it, but other than that it's a wrap!!

Going out for some noodles tonight. Big Brother eviction night too - woohoo!!


The view across Foxstone Moss - Ironically, I never even knew of our foxy connection. I would have normally referred to this location as Buckstones, but am much happier now I've actually looked it up. It's just more cotton grass.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Say it a bit louder.....

.... make you feel a little bit better.

What a hot day it's been.

I spent the morning practicing a few things that I've recently learned about my camera. Having spent a day on an "improver's" camera course, I've been inspired to point my camera in every direction at every opportunity. Lots of bad photos and a very few decent ones.

This all ties in with the fact that I didn't manage to win a spot on the Colne Valley calendar competition with any of the six shots I sent them!!!! (insert sad smiley here) There were 58 entrants, each submitting six photos and they only could pick thirteen of them, so I guess the odds were against me...... All entries will be exhibited though in September and October, so at least that's something.

I gave up walking and taking pictures when it got too hot. I retreated to the relative comfort of my local bowling club (see bowling cam) for refreshment, and indulged in a couple of handpulled Webster's Best Bitter.


Buzz buzz buzz buzz honey bee, honey bee, do what you like but don't sting me. A piece of clover with a waxy legged bumble bee near Ringstone Edge Reservoir. Just one of a series of shots taken using "manual" camera settings - I'm finally venturing away from the "auto" stuff and getting a bit more creative - twenty two quid well spent on the course then!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

52 Minutes.

It has some very poignant meanings.

Firstly, 52 minutes is a short film about the growing epidemic of knife crime in London. When last I was in London, there were actually mobile metal detecting arches set up on pavements for people to walk through.

Secondly, it's the name of a Canadian rock band. Part of the hardcore/emo scene, whatever that means!!?!? Of course we all know that it means "emotional hardcore" on account of its' "oh so sensitive" lyricism. Those crafty punk wordsmiths.

Thirdly, it was the amount of time it took Barack Obama to deliver two speeches (exactly 26 minutes each) in Europe, which spelled out his desire to rid the world of nuclear weapons and his intention to launch a drive on nuclear disarmament - possibly bigger than any ever attempted - well, it would have to be Mister Obama - We've still got them, so that tells you the level of success of previous "drives" - besides:

Homer: It's pronounced 'nucular'. Nucular.

Fourthly, and most importantly, it was the amount of footage that I recorded last night, of the Big Brother "live" schedule..... during which time, the housemates were getting ready for bed. 52 minutes into my three hour recording schedule, and of course the lights were off and everyone was snoring. They are, without a doubt, the most sleepy bunch of housemates EVER!!!


Snow in summer. A whole heap of Eriophorum near Deer Hill, under a fluffy clouded sky. I could not choose which of the photos to post here, but chose this one just for the sky. That's cotton grass to you and me, dumbo!! You would not believe the difference in weather between yesterday and today.... my birdhouse has blown out of the tree this morning.... now where will I live!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Force.

Well it started a bit chilly this morning, but by ten o clock it was turning into another scorcher.

Sadly, I'd recorded a few hours of the live Big Brother that went out at one in the morning, and found that it featured three hours of sleeping housemates. A more pointless six hour broadcast I can not imagine.

I fast forward through three hours of sleeping and reach a stage of complete disgust at what a waste of time it's turning into.

I put my boots in the car and grab a bottle of water. I put my camera back together and grab my car keys. I drive out to Blackmoorfoot and embark on a six mile walk in the sweltering sun. It's not long before the sweat is quite literally dripping off me. I find that carrying a rucksack ALWAYS makes me hotter and before long all my clothes are clinging and clammy.

I combine two of my favourite walks into one. I walk round Blackmoorfoot, through Helme, and out to the shooting lodge at Deer Hill. I have so many good photographs from today that I can't imagine I'll ever get round to choosing a suitable selection.

Later this afternoon I spotted an accident on the motorway outside my house. I took a few photos from my bedroom window and managed to get the local newspaper to publish one on the website. I don't know how long this link'll work.


This season's chick. The first real feathers are appearing on this young fuzzy duck. A lovely glassy surface on Blackmoorfoot Reservoir. (I'm always guilty of (badly) photographing wildlife but I like the water surface and first coloured feathers on this little darling, so you have my apologies for yet another duck pic).

Monday, June 15, 2009

Limbo.

For some reason I feel like I'm in limbo.... I think I need to get out of my funk and go and do something..... it's the half life of a Big Brother addict but without the usual companionship of the live feed from the house. Perhaps I'll watch bowling-cam instead??

I am starting to think about camping?? Is that right?? There just seems to be no end to the internet bargains in the camping department, and I get a step closer to indulging with each discount email that manages to resist my spam filter.

Perhaps I'll just swap my quilt for a sleeping bag and kip on the floor instead, and I will still get to drink a decent cup of coffee on demand.

New music to accompany your visit.... and a new photo too.... what more could you ask for?


A skylark rests atop St George's day commemorative stone at Wholestone Hill - part of the White Rose Forest walk.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Getting there.

More by overexposure than by enjoyment, I'm finally succumbing to the lure of Big Brother. It's taken some bloody minded persistence thus far.

The fact that there is no live streaming in this series has meant that I record three hours of the live feed that plays between midnight and six am, and I watch it the next day, on occasion imagining I'm watching it live...... just draw the curtains and pretend it's late.... it's not hard to do.

The lengths I am going to, in order to enjoy the series, have made me realise I'm probably a bit beyond sensible help.

I'm still managing to get out and about (weather permitting) and with a lovely hot day, today, we had an adventure near Wakefield - a feat in its own right - We visited a castle and a country park, neither of which I knew about before today, and both of which were surprisingly enjoyable. I even found a pub for lunch with real ale. Sandal Castle and Newmillerdam country park and boat house.


Conker tree beside the dam at Newmillerdam. A verdant rhapsody.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Careful.

Spent the most part of the day trying to care about Big Brother. It's very difficult to get involved in it without the live feed. Come on Channel 4, bring it back.

Tried to watch Fistful of Dollars... fell asleep.

Ended up caring about my Pokemon far more than I ought to.

Let me just say.....

Be careful what you wish for!!
Would you....

... credit it?

The great British voting public have only gone and elected hatemongers Nick Griffin and Andrew Brons to the European Parliament. Well, let me tell you this, they can have their seats, and their supporters of diminished mental capacity, but they'll never represent me.

If you can be arsed to sign the petition against them, then you probably would have voted against them, but it's not too late to have a say. Sign here against racism and hatred.

We're a bunch of apathetic voters in this country, and the recent expenses row has meant not enough people could be arsed to vote..... Apparently the whole turnout to the European elections has dropped every year since it started thirty years ago, so it's not just us.

There's a lesson in here somewhere and it's not just that we will all get to see, first hand, what a twat Nick Griffin is, although that may well be the case. Shame on us all!!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Wet firework.

Well, razzmatazz it ain't.

The latest series of Big Brother is a complete damp squib. We're just a few days in and.... I've already lost the will to view.

The episode tonight was embarrassingly bad.

I've even lost the will to write down or explore all the failings of the current show.

You've been saved from a real diatribe then!!

I've resorted to downloading a whole heap of Clint Eastwood films to keep me company through the dark hours where I'd normally be watching the Big Brother live feed and making my own mind up about what's really going on in the house.

I suppose I should be paying more attention to the local elections and the European elections......

.... or maybe not!?
Strange....

Let me first announce that, after a gallon of Huddersfield's finest ale.... the blog might not make sense.....

A bunch of "blokes" at the taxi rank, with a bunch of innuendos, as I approach a gentleman that may be "going my way", with a view to making the journey cheaper.

Three pints in, and I notice the strength of a Cornish porter measuring up to a staggering 6% abv which phases me much less than the dogs that like to lick the landlady's face.

Halifax Steam Brewery - Dark Side - Immensely chocolate/coffee dark beer, despite the fact that I'd have really liked to drink the "Shirley Crabtree" at 5.2% abv. Biggest flavoured beer of the night.

I love the beer!!

Despite my promise to not drink and blog..... see above!!!

Friday, June 05, 2009

A game.

It's been a game of two halves.... well to be fair, it's actually been a week of two halves, not really that much of a game.

First half, baking hot, dry, sunburned, and dogsitting.

Second half, in true British style, grey, raining, foggy, cold, and Big Brother.

A strange phenomena that I thoroughly enjoyed today was the first drops of rain falling onto the hot road, causing steam to rise and swirl about at shin height. Like dry ice at a crazy rock gig, swirling and eddying before the road cooled enough for it to stop.

A strange phenomena that I thoroughly didn't enjoy is that:

Big Brother has no live feed this year. This, presumably, is to encourage us to watch the actual Big Brother show and its spin-off counterparts that have, of course, been falling flat on their arses in recent years. The live feeds have been less manipulated, and we've enjoyed being able to make our minds up about the events as they occur rather than the way the editors wish to portray them.

I need a bath and a shave!!! Iced ink!!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Subliminal.

Adverts are not my favourite aspect of existence. Bad adverts are REALLY bad. Adverts that have to carry small print are even worse - Just watch any mascara advert and spot the "filmed with lash inserts" disclaimer to see the pointlessness of it all.

I make no secret that I enjoyed the Smash adverts with the martians. There HAVE been a few that have been worth seeing, but for no more than their intrinsic entertainment purposes. The thought that any of them have made me buy anything is too sorry a conclusion to reach.

Sat, today, as I often do, with the TV blurting into the ether of my living room while I do something completely different..... two adverts dragged my attention away from whatever I was doing, and they compelled me to write:

In jeopardy style, give me the product to the advert:

a) Just pop it up your nose for a couple of minutes, two or three times a day, and start making the most of your summer!!

b) This isn't just music - This is [blank] (A blatant M&S rip off on behalf of Asda - hint: the blank is the name of the band!!)

PS: Big Brother kicks off tonight - I've heard there will be no "live stream" this series and that means I might actually get time to write/eat/wash/sleep during the course of this series.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Too hot for me.

I actually got a chance to say, in live weather oriented conversation, to my neighbour and the free weekly paper delivery man.....

"Oh, it's too hot for my liking"

I nearly shouted "bingo" just after the words had left my mouth and jumped into passing conversation.

At least I have managed to solve the music playing, picture hosting and webcam issues that have been making a mockery of my blog. I nearly, and almost did, set up my own web server so I don't have to rely on them third party freebies to achieve the level of service you've all come to know and love.

I'm hungry and I need to get summat to eat..... and a cold beer!!

I'll be back to posting more pictures as soon as this hot weather subsides and I come back indoors.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Golden oldies.

A Sunday super search spectacular, just for old time's sake. For those that don't know, I used to pick my favourite search entries that brought people to my blog, and to point them in the right direction for the best answers.

Here goes.....

1) jenni falconer smoking (Google) - I am still amazed at the number of people that come to this site by this search. I think some time back I worked out that Jenni Falconer had something to do with some anti-smoking campaign or something.... anyway.... Smoking fetishists everywhere... enjoy!!

2) diving sparth reservoir (Google) - Diving?? In Sparth Reservoir??? Are you mad??? Now, I do know a bit about Sparth Reservoir as it's on my regular walking routes. It lies at the edge of Marsden and it's a hotspot for kids to swim in when the weather's as hot as it has been for the last few days. The only diving I know that happened there was last year when some kids found clothes dumped next to the reservoir and the search teams went in.... nothing was found. Here's a picture or two of Sparth though.

3) tri wing b&q (Google) - Look, you're just not going to find a tri-wing screwdriver at B&Q. Well, I tell a small lie there, you may well find a tri-wing bit in one of those driver bit packs that you can buy, but if you're looking for a tri-wing driver, I can probably guess it's for console modding!! Have a look here for the cheapest deal I found when I was looking for mine. They don't even charge for postage!!

4) what is the difference between an arctic fox and a fox? (Google) - About 2000 miles!!! Boom boom!!

5) j s q d u a o t t (Google) - Incredible that someone should search for this, and I had to research it myself to realise why they ended up here whilst looking for it. Those are the letters of the final Countdown selection when Carol "thinking man's crumpet" Vordermann was "retired" from the show. For further information purposes..... and an extra nerd point.... both contestants formed the word "quotas".... Carol wept, and so did the nation when we were left with the annoying replacement, Rachel Riley.

6) do artic foxes use water for anything other than drinking (Google) - In short, yes. Cooking, bathing, washing the car, watering the garden, filling the birdbath.... you know, all the regular watery type stuff. PS: Pet hate - it's "arCtic", not "artic"!!!!!

7) concede a frame in "virtual pool" 3 (Google) - I played it a lot and would never concede a frame!! I don't think there's a quick key command that correlates to conceding a frame, and I can't find the instructions either.... you could look here though. The full instructions are here. The keyboard shortcuts are here.

8) hot water bottle tummy fetish (Google) - Say what now?

9) wallpaper girls (AltaVista) - I'm just amazed that anyone still uses altavista!! Just move across to Google and marvel at the results!!

10) haikus for arctic fox (Google) - I imagine you could give any haiku you like to an arctic fox. If, however, you were looking for haiku ABOUT arctic foxes, then they are few and far between.... My gift to you:

In winter, in white.
Changing coats with the season.
In summer, in blue.
(Arctic Fox May 2009)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Gittin'

Gittin' back into the swing of blogging. Still to fix the music thing, but I'm pleased with the way my bowling cam has turned out.

It's been a scorching couple of days, and not really wanting to harp on about it too much (in true Brit style), I'd go as far as to say it's too hot for me!! Just kidding, but I DO love saying that to people when they indulge in weather chat.

I'm trying to play Pokemon on my Nintendo DS. I'm trying to watch Dexter series 3. I'm trying to rewatch all the Mitchell and Webb stuff that I have. I've got blisters on my feet from walking the Colne Valley Circular (12.5 miles) and one leg is still longer than the other from all those lopsided hill paths.

I've been dogsitting for Stevie the wonder dog while Dawn has a string of potential purchasers viewing her house. We've got along pretty well, but I do tend to overindulge her in dog treats - muesli bones..... marrowbone snacks..... and even some burnt baked beans (don't ask) - Dogs make great waste disposal systems, but apparently you're not supposed to give them grapes!?!?

Note to self: Must get a job.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Only...

Just a two DAY absence this time.... beats the previous record of two months by a country mile!!

Been farting about with my crappy webcam, and have now managed, without the assistance of any crappy third party and their crappy free webspace, to get a bowling green webcam back up and running. Simple things and all that. There's possibly too much crap and farting in that last sentence to be very healthy really. I'm sure that Dr. John Harvey Kellogg would approve quite heartily.

My crappy webcam now has some unbeatable refresh rates.

Next thing to fix is the music......

I'm disappointed that nobody was arsed, or had a relevant sign-in ID to comment on my Scotland photos..... boo hoo..... Saying that, even when emailed to my relatives, they never even acknowledged that they had looked at the pictures either!! You have to wonder why you bother sometimes.

Cheerie-bye-the-noo.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ahem.

Well, you probably haven't even noticed, but I haven't been here for quite some time.

I haven't been doing all that much in the interim period, but I have been simply too busy doing nothing to get round to "tweaking" my blog.....

It all started when I cancelled my domains and then the picture links stopped working and so it goes on..... and before you know it there are so many little things that need looking at and fixing and generally pissing about with that I get overfaced and consequently..... do nothing!!

So now......

I've fixed my profile picture.... I've still to fix my crappy webcam, which will probably involve just deleting it........

I have managed to put a little photo gallery together of a recent trip that I went on to Scotland. You can view a slideshow of it here or jump directly to the photo album here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Following....

Following on from a spate of recent beer festival action that would make a Trappist Monk blush, I'm currently to be found engaged in the noble art of roofing.

I'm at my Aunty and Uncle's house near Lincoln, surrounded by fields and a veritable cornucopia of wildlife.

More to follow.



Fairly plain, but I think effective photograph of the road by Blackmoorfoot Reservoir. Possibly, in fact, an unnamed road!! Taking whilst walking there on Sunday or Monday... I'm old and I forget.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Earwig.

Earwig oh again......

Here we go again .... geddit??

It's like a dingbat but more moronic.....

That's what you get when you get a drunken fox blog......

Yesterday's Examiner dingbat was:

O _ e r _ t _ o _

I came up with several ideas but the most serious one I could come up with was "painless operation" and if that's the case, whoever thinks these things up needs sacking!! Is "painless operation" a well known phrase or saying?? If so.... here is my response, in dingbat form:

abracadabra o_er_t_o_ not your posterior!!

Translated - spoiler (highlight it to see it): magic painless operation my arse!

Idiots.

The Old Ship Inn's first beer festival in Brighouse today... I'm glad to say that I made it there to sample their fine array of ales..... not all of them good, but then not all of them ordered by me.... miraculously - most of the ones I ordered were brilliant..... highlights:

Golcar - Dark Mild.
Elland - 1872 Porter.
Marble - Chocolate.
Marble - Ginger.
Brass Monkey - Silverback.
Brass Monkey - Monkey Pooh.

At a paltry two quid a pint on all the festival beers.... g'wan and fill thee boots.

Just a quick note to Emma - I love it when someone enjoys a punchline as much as I do..... magic cock my arse!!



I have lost count of the number of photos I've taken at Cupwith Reservoir, but here it is.... ANOTHER and one unlike any other.... melting snow and ice on some lovely colourful moss at the side of the water. Suck it up.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

By the light....

By the light of the silvery moon.

They don't half seem to come round fast, but it's full moon time again. I'm going to try and get out and do a bit of walking in the moonlight tonight, so if you're driving anywhere near Outlane, at about midnight, try not to run me over please.

Well, thanks to Tony... I've been tagged for a meme.... it's a nice easy one so bear with me.....

The Rules are such:

1) Put the link of the person who tagged you on your blog - Tony's blog - check!
2) Write the rules - you're already reading 'em - check!
3) Mention 6 things or habits of no real importance about you - see below - check!
4) Tag 6 persons adding their links directly - see below - check!
5) Alert the persons that you tagged them - check!

I laugh to myself as I nominate spice-the-cat; Rol; Worcester Dan; Maxxo; Yorkshire Pudding; Sophia

1= I often kiss or lick useful pieces of technology (cables; computers; phones; televisions; all fall under this heading).

2= I don't have a favourite colour or a lucky number.

3= I have no pets.

4= I love beer and I love cheese but I'm not that keen on tomatoes.

5= I watch too many "antiques" shows (Bargain Hunt; Dickinson's Real Deal; Antiques Roadshow; Cash in the Attic; all fall under this heading).

6= My eyes are a bit rubbish and I couldn't even tell you what colour they are.

Tada!!



I did promise to post my better snowdrop picture at some point.... and here it is!! I think this is a nice sense of spring.... Wish I'd tidied up the frame a bit.... picked up a bit of the dead twigs and stuff that are lying about in it. Oakwell Hall photography class on the 28th February.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Starting....

I'm starting to annoy myself.

Firstly, I'm beginning to think my house may be haunted. Strange bumps, creaks, moans and groans abound in this place. Sitting on the sofa tonight it actually felt like an animal of some sort jumped up on the sofa and sat beside me.... I don't believe in ghosts..... this is an old house though and the more time I spend here, the more it takes on its own character.

Secondly, I can't stop slaying zombies!!

Having recently (Thanks to Al) got my Nintendo Wii "chipped" with a Wiikey V2 - I've discovered a whole raft of new games to play.... for the most part I'm desperately trying to scramble over the finishing line of Resident Evil 4. Other titles that are gracing my living room are "Onechanbara - Bikini Zombie Slayers" and "Dead Rising - Chop Till You Drop" - I frequently dream about being a Japanese schoolgirl armed with a samurai sword and whipping the heads off people out walking in the park.

Just in case I might tire of zombie slaying or go a bit too psychopathic..... I've lined up Rapala's Fishing Frenzy (I bloody love a good fishing game), Samba De Amigo (a game that allows you to skillfully follow the career path of the maraca shaking Bez from the happy Mondays), and last but not least Tiger Woods 09 (web enabled multiplayer golf game).

Between the Wii and my laptop-enabled TV for watching movies (via that lovely 2m (6ft) Atlona VGA to RGBHV (BNC/RCA) breakout HDTV cable from San Jose) and sorting out all my photographs and files and managing the bloody computers that house everything.... well, it's almost a full time job aint it??



Getting a good photo on the canal is literally like "shooting fish in a barrel" or indeed relates firmly to "sitting ducks". I just liked this photo.... looks like the duck's actually laughing at us. You decide.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Refreshing change.

It's not often I blow someone else's trumpet. I make an odd exception today.

Today marks the launch of a new website called Freeze Frame. It's a collection of digitised images of polar expeditions between 1845-1982. Some of the images are so rare (on glass plate negatives for example, and purchased with a lottery grant to preserve them) that we would otherwise never get to see them.

There are some great pictures on there and it's a great archive of historic images - some great images from the Scott expeditions. As you can imagine, on the day of launch, it's very difficult to get anywhere near the website.... I'm sure it'll settle down and we'll all get to view these great images.

Go and have a look for yourself, but don't get too frustrated with the speed of it!!

As for me.... well I've been out with my own camera (again) and taken some almost "passable" shots today... a good thing.



One of two.... a snowdrop shot from the recent photography class that I went to. This is the image that was billed as the "snowdrop shot of the day". I quite like it, but there's a little bit of fault in the focus to my eyes.... Personally I prefer the second shot of the two, which you'll see at some point soon. Spring springing.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Bloody Sunday.

A depressing day is Sunday. I used to think it was a depressing day because it's the weekend wind-down back into work mode, but as I currently don't work, then that can't be the case. What a crappy day it is.

For some reason, my blogger wasn't working today.... and that's annoyed me a bit.

Just stopping by to give a list of things I've been watching lately.....

Currently viewing: Prisoner Cell Block H season 1 - A great Antipodean blast from the past. Actually I noticed that the date stamp on the episodes is 1979 which of course makes it thirty years old. I bloody love it.... Vinegar tits, Lizzie Birdsworth, Bea, Doreen and the gang..... Fabulous and stands the test of time, despite the wobbly walls and decidedly dodgy wallpaper!!

Recently viewed: Early Doors - Seasons 1 & 2 - A not very widely viewed comedy when it first aired. I think it was during my "quiz night" period with spice-the-cat and Lenny..... it's fabulously funny, dry, grim, and extremely northern!!

Currently viewing: The Complete Goofy 1939 - 1961 - Worth watching just for the Motor Mania episode featuring the Jekyll and Hide type Mister Walker and Mister Wheeler characters.

Cued up for viewing: Futurama - Bender's Game; Futurama - Into the Wild Green Yonder.

Recently viewed: Extras seasons 1 & 2 - Extremely rib tickling Ricky Gervais and Steven Merchant (who I actually prefer to Ricky Gervais) Bafta award winning sitcom - it ticks all the boxes before you even start watching and continues to do so all the way to the end - I (guiltily) managed to get through the 12 episodes over two days.

Recently viewed: Lipstick on Your Collar - Ewan McGregor's first "major" role in this Dennis Potter made-for-tv suez crisis based war office serial. I can imagine you've already switched over by now.... but stick with it.... I remembered it from being on the tellybox in 1993 and decided to look it up again - I'm not sorry I did. Quirky and pretty unpredictable rock-n-roll extravaganza.



Don't feed the animals - they'll end up stuffed!! A distant cousin on the recent photography course.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Excuses.

This blog entry is just an excuse for me to imitate Ron Jeremy and to blow my own trumpet a little. But then if I can't blow my own trumpet on my own blog, I'd like to know where else I might go to do it.

I've been on a "digital photography for beginners" course at Oakwell Hall near Birstall.

Now, based on the fact that I provide a digital photograph on my blog almost every day..... you might be wondering why I am going to a beginners class.... I must admit, I asked myself the same question.

It;s difficult sometimes to judge your own level of something. Alright, so I know I take lots of pictures, and I know that ninety nine percent of them never see the light of day, but it's all guesswork..... Sometimes it works for me and sometimes it doesn't.

Time to get back to basics.

Glad I went actually..... It's been a good day..... I think I've gained a little knowledge and a little confidence out of it....

The proof of the pudding, is of course, in the eating, and the photos I've taken today have actually been slightly better than my usual bunch.

A good source of inspiration.



Now, everyone today took photos of the snowdrops. I took snowdrop photos too. The course instructor admitted that he thought mine were the best ones.... and so, I give to you.... some blossom in a tree.... I don't even know what sort of blossom it is.... nice bokkeh though. I've booked on the next course that takes us a bit further into manual camera settings.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Stripped and ready for action.

That's the current state my Nintendo Wii is in..... Just waiting for the solder meister to put his electrostatic discharged wellies on and head on over with his wheels of flux cored lead.

What this means, is that I have taken a deep breath and pulled apart my lovely Nintendo using lots of brute ignorance and triwing screwdriverness. It looks a damn sight sorrier than it did half an hour ago!!

I am sure everyone will be able to imagine the VERY harassed fox when it comes time to put it back together!!

Other things that are pissing me off include.....

B&Q for generally not stocking any equipment for working on anything smaller than a patio or a radiator.

My eyes.... failing, and generally rubbish at doing things smaller than patios or radiators.

The Slanket!!! Not just the concept of a blanket with sleeves that I find annoying, nor is it the couch potatoes that might use them that annoy me.... I find the idea of inventing a word to describe a product, to be quite simply, sickening. In defence of the marketing team, I DO appreciate that they've identified their target market quite well......

QUOTE:
Traditional blankets have one downfall - you have to keep popping your arms in and out from under the blanket when you want to do something... what a chore!

This ingenious invention frees up your arms so you can keep all warm and snug as you do important stuff - like reaching for the remote control... or ordering a pizza on the phone.
END QUOTE.

Apparently blankets have a downfall have they?? Why didn't anyone tell me this before?

What a chore!! I have to keep moving my arms now to do things.... oh, the humanity.

Important things like reaching the remote control, or ordering a pizza.... I think we know where this is going....

The lightbulb goes on!

How about one with a colostomy bag pocket in it so you never need to leave the sofa again?

Slanket? It's a right load of fullocks!!



Sixteen screws, six rubber sticky feet and pads, eight parts, three cables, ten fat fingers and two cheap screwdrivers.... that's all it takes. Mix them all nicely with one lovely nylon electrostatically charged rug, and you've got a nice white lump of useless plastic..... time will tell.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My little stick....

With my little stick of Geekpool rock (to be sung in a George Formby stylee).

I am reassured this week that I am still (despite my attempts to become a tree hugging, earth mother) a confirmed geek, and the lettering runs through my core, so whichever way up you choose to view me, you should still be able to read it (although in theory from underneath it would say "keeg" but mirrored??).

I refer of course to my love of technology.

I found myself ordering, receiving and subsequently curled up on the settee hugging and kissing an RGBH/V Dsub to BNC/RCA cable. My only regret is that I wish it were slightly longer, but in the world of American cablery, beggars can't be choosers.... it's lovely and gold plated and that!!

I've order a 3.5mm to phono cable, and am actually excited about it arriving.

I've ordered a Wiikey V2 chip for my Nintendo Wii - Having finally managed to sort out the Nintendo DS, I now feel I have the courage to strip down the somewhat larger white games box and get my hands on some of that free game love.

My only bit of misguided tom-geekery this week was purchasing a database book which actually spends more time explaining how to open files in windows (Windows Vista I hasten to add, and I am still only on XP after my recent laptop disaster) than it does about how to construct a database.... Access databases are my weakest of the martial arts of Office-jitsu.

Mmmmm Marmite and cables everywhere......



A really great Ozzy Osbourne toy that I picked up for forty-nine pence.... includes remote control!! I can't find batteries small enough to fit the remote yet though!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

About turn.

Blog entry take two.

Having previously decided to blog about a successful purchase of Marmite - a measly 250g jar which worked out cheaper than any of the other sizes, larger ones included.... I've changed my mind, and that's my frikking perogative, so back off!!

It's Nintendo DS time.

Having spent approximately six hours swapping the case, only to fail at the final hurdle by snapping the power switch...... that's where I left off. I had been quoted thirty quids to repair it....

Having shopped around, I managed to buy a couple (one for emergencies/disasters) of said power switches from a company in Leeds for just ninety eight pence each.... yes that's nine-eight 98 whole pence!!

Good old RBK came round and desoldered the old switch and soldered on a new one for me - cheers Rich - GREATLY appreciated - some people have skills and although they don't prize them very highly, others certainly do.

I put the whole thing back together and settled down tonight to stick on the rubber feet and screw covers and all those other bollocksy bits that finish the job. The rubber feet weren't self adhesive so I superglued 'em on for good luck...... can you guess what happens next??

I turn on the completely reassembled machine and the top screen is blank.

Back to the drawing board - screw heads are starting to strip away and rubber feet are now cut out and thrown in the bin - back to the fiddly gold connector ribbon and it's working again.... reassembly - seriously those screws won't take another undoing....

Hey presto - a bit of bodging and lots of determination and assistance into the bargain and:



Before - all set out for a very organised afternoon. When the switch snapped it all ended up being chucked into a bag and the screws got mixed up and.... well you know how it goes.... everything I touch turns to shite!!



During - A picture I took during the operation - this one was supposed to help me remember the wire routings. See the little black wire that runs under that big silver block thing..... oh my.... it nearly didn't get reconnected. Also spot my Hong Kong screwdriver propping it all up.



After - Sexy metallic red - all revved up and ready to go.... if I can just finish this effing blog then I might be able to play some!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Notable.

Notable by their absences today are:

Large jar of Marmite.

A new broom head.

A rat poison bait box.

Peanut Butter.

Microsoft Autoroute.

Memory Map navigation software.

It's funny how such a random list of unconnected items can all be united by the very fact that I have noticed the lack of them all on this very day.

I have tried to resolve some of these shortcomings, and am afraid to say that the only ones I have satisfied are those that relate to computer software.

Geek I am.

Marmite on toast I am not.



Here (for your enjoyment) is a scaled down version of the faulty Nelson's Column print. I've stuck a couple of vertizontal bars over the top to give you the exact scale of my error. I put this failing down to all those hours spent running round the moors hunting for magic mushrooms - It's simply resulted in the Pole Moor condition of having one leg slightly longer than the other. I estimate (and usually correct with) a measurement of 2 degree rotation.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Straightening it out.

Well, my laptop died and for the best part of two days I tried to revive it. Eventually, against my better judgement (as is always the case in the untimely death of a computer) I decided to start from scratch - formatted and installed a brand, spanky, fancy, clean, new operating system, which is about as brand, spanky, fancy, clean and new as any Microsoft operating system could be... which isn't very!!

I'm back, of a fashion.

One good thing to come out of the recent laptop related disaster is that I've now installed a new art package (the newest version - obviously illegally downloaded and hacked, cracked and packed) which is a more up-to-date version of the package I used to use. The most immediate thing I notice is that there is now a "straighten photo" option - I've tried it and it's very good. Hopefully I will be able to combat my patented two degree slant on all my photos now!!!

They say every cloud has a silver lining.....

They also say that it's an ill wind that blows no good......

They can't both be right!!



Well, an old photo from a trip to London that we took some time last year. Nelson's column was so badly tilted that this photo was never likely to see the light of day - well I couldn't be bothered to manually rotate the thing and then crop out the picture and so on, to get rid of the white corners that creep in whilst rotating. So here it is - my perfectly straightened column for you all to feast your eyes upon.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Double blow

bloody technology - now my laptop is cream crackered as well.
Not sure how many blog entries I can manage through the discomfort of my wiimote!!

rbk - drop me an email to wevzyboy_@_msn_._com (remove the undie-scores)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Big moon.... big moon.....

Large moon (almost full) rises over a thawing horizon. No, wait, it's a freezing horizon... now it's a snowing horizon.... now it's a raining horizon......

Large moon skips and rises over an indecisive horizon.

I'm a bit whizzed off....

Dawn's now got the flu that I had and I hate it when I can't make things better for her.

I've been looking (in vain) for a contraption that allows me to cover the bath taps with some sort of bath pillow device. Let's call it a green initiative, but sharing a bath is good for the environment, and I'm fed up of burning my back on one side from the hot tap and freezing the other side from the cold tap...... and not being able to relax or lean back anywhere....

Seems like a fairly simple idea......

Perhaps I should take up sewing and set up a business.... anyone interested in a patented foxy tap cover?? Available in the exact colour of orange of your dreams.

In other news..... the screwdrivers I was waiting for from Hong Kong have arrived.... my Nintendo DS now requires professional attention to the tune of thirty quid to repair the damage I have inflicted on it!!



Can you imagine after approximately six hours of open heart surgery - fitting the final piece back onto my Nintendo..... thwarted by the snapping of this tiny piece of plastic!! The air was blue.... as you can well imagine. The little piece of plastic you can see is actually part of the power switch - I can buy a new switch unti for three quid but I cant solder things that small..... thirty quid to get it done.... I'm gutted.

Monday, February 09, 2009

On t'up.

Seems my man flu has finally turned the corner and begun to eff off. I'm now left with a slightly charred bronchial effect that goes nicely with the curtains.

Bloody weather isn't helping things.... one minute it's freezing cold... the next it's sunny and snow melty and wet..... right now, when I should be out doing my Julie Andrews impersonation, singing "The hills are alive with the sound of badgers" across the fields of Nettleton Hill whilst adoring a beautiful full moon, we are (predictably) treated to fog and vertizontal sleet whipping up New Hey Road.

My gob's all chapped and I've borrowed Dawn's inhaler, so let's hope things get better soon.

Still waiting for my tri-wing screwdriver to arrive from Hong Kong so that I can finally kill my Nintendo DS whilst pretending to be fixing it. I DID get a package from Hong Kong today which turns out to be something else for the DS but it's a bit crap until I get the case swapped out.



One advantage of the recent snow is that a pied wagtail has found its way into my garden every day. Unfortunately this picture was taken through some really mucky windows in my kitchen and was a bit zoomed in, so naturally it's not the best quality. S'a lovely likkle bird though. Having spent a great deal of time and effort keeping the feathered friends fed and watered in this recent white spell, I can say it's been very rewarding to see all the action on and around the feeders.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

What goes.....

White, red, blue, red, white???

Answer: Me, in the snow, walking, and then catching man flu!!

I'm officially dying of man flu.

My lungs feel like I have started smoking again.... my temperature is all over the place.... I have the most feeble broken glass cough..... sleep pattern's gone to the dogs..... can't even raise the enthusiasm to stay awake long enough to watch a film (that being said, I've managed to watch (with some cunning rewinding over the bits I fell asleep in) Horton Hears a Who (very good); Bee Movie (Very poor); and Ratatouille (OK)) = lovely nested parentheses!!

On the plus side of being so desperately ill, I've managed to spend some time organising the mountains of digital media that I manage to accumulate in such a haphazard fashion. Electronic spring cleaning, you can't beat it!!



Early morning New Hey Road - This was Tuesday morning, but it's a shot I like. The streetlight phosphor orange glow is quite tasty.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Depends.

It all depends on your perspective. Like Charlie Dickens once wrote - "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times".

And so it comes to pass that, what has been billed as the heaviest snowfall in nearly twenty years, has divided us into two distinct camps.....

For me, personally, I'm loving every minute of it - right up to the point where I am so run-down that my complexion has gone to pieces and I'm starting with a flu. I managed to walk six or seven miles today, and it was bloody hard, hot, sweaty, clammy work.

The other side of the coin is that I've never seen so many schools closed. I've never known anyone's work to be closed before (like Dawn's was today). It was good to see all the kids out sledging and enjoying themselves, but somewhere underneath it all, someone has claimed that the two days of disruption have cost the nation more than three and a half billion quid!!



The red ball rising over the Colne Valley - If you look real careful, you can just see Castle Hill on the extreme left horizon. A great walk and a lovely sunrise this morning.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Bolder....

... and decidedly colder.

Snow came.... and then some more.... and then some more.... and another foot of snow is forecast for this evening.... hooray!!

I know if you've got kids that need to get to a school that's been closed, or if you need to brave the M62 to fight your way to work, that this weather might not be too thrilling..... I don't, and it is.

Today was a great chance to test my full winter outfit. Hat, gloves, buff, coat, boots, gaiters, thermals..... fully kitted for a walk to Dawn's house. By the time I got there, the sweat was dripping off me...... I think I might have gone a bit overboard - I'm possibly ready for an arctic expedition rather than a five mile walk!!



Turley Cote Lane between Outlane and Old Lindley. A favourite local walking spot en route to Dawn's house.... Despite the greyness of the photo, this was taken at about noon, today, and about two minutes before the blizzard descended and I couldn't see where I was going!! Boots fully blooded by virtue of going nearly shin deep in mud.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Christened.

We finally got around to christening our new walking boots today. Having worn them around the house for a few hours, they were itching to get some mud on them, and that's just what they got.

Be careful what you wish for.

A loop around Scammonden Dam and Deanhead Reservoir, on a cold and frosty morning, where the mud was tempered slightly by only a thin icy crust. Probably the best part of four or five miles. It WAS trying to snow, and the wind was icy cold. We were so weatherproofed that it made for a slightly slower walking pace, but that suited our new "bombproof" heavy mountain boots!!

The dog didn't mind the cold, and managed to brave the icy black waters along the way, several times!! Brrrr.

I'm so lucky to have someone like Dawn to go walking with.

I MUST keep walking - my feet are in such bad shape, and I am praying that I can walk them back to life.... hoping also that the boots will hold the mangled bones together in the process. I have a fancy idea that I'd like to walk up Ben Nevis in September, so watch this space.

There is now another layer of snow outside!! Apparently it came from Russia?!? It certainly makes a change to see the snow blowing to the west along New Hey Road.



Admittedly (due to my lazy approach to image storage) this photo is from the walk last weekend. As a spice-the-cat homage - Canada geese on the canal near Cellars Clough Mill.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Patience!!

I am not a patient person...

The above statement suitably encapsulates the feeling of severe despair that is currently hanging over my head like a big grey cloud, brought on by the disintegration of my Nintendo DS.

New parts ordered.

New parts arrived.

Tri-wing screwdriver...... of course missed off my original order.

In a concerted effort to get my project underway - immediately - I set off to find a suitable screwdriver....

DIY store in Marsh - never heard of them.

B&Q in town - "Have you tried Screwfix Direct?"

Screwfix direct - Confirm for me that they are indeed called tri-wing screwdrivers but don't have one.

End of the line......

Back to the internet shopping.....

Choice 1 : $1 but comes from Hong Kong with free postage 10 -12 working days?.....

Choice 2: Same place I got the case from - £6 + £2.50 postage - 1 -2 days.....

Normally I'd have gone for the fastest. Call it credit crunch, or a lesson in patience and thrift, but I went for the cheap Hong Kong one!!

I miss my Nintendo.



Smashed.... bloody design faults!!! Cue weeping fox.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What a difference...

... a week (and a bit) makes!

A week punctuated sparingly with medium jinx.

Highlights (and lowlights) have included:

My Nintendo DS falling in half - played to death, RIP little buddy.

New walking boots finally purchased, arrived, and totally loved.

Cooking a good curry (low fat, meat free, slimming world friendly) for the lovely Dawn.

Getting my car MOT'ed (not by my usual choice of the Honda dealer - the credit crunch is upon us - sorry, "global economic downturn").

Walking through Merrydale (above Slawit) with a pair of stupid dogs, and finding the last of last week's snow hiding under a wall at Cop Hill (see picture).

Beer - The King's Head in town is rapidly becoming one of my chosen few, purely for their beer - certainly not for the ambiance!!

Gardening.

Mario Kart Wii - finally smashing the time trial records and unlocking the last few elements of the game - right down to the point where there is just one record that remains..... untouchable thus far!!

Celebrity Big Brother final - Abject disappointment - Despite myself, I wanted Terry Christian, Verne Troyer or Coolio to win...... defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory, and for some strange, unsavoury reason, Ulrika "bloody" Jonsson won it!! Who saw that one coming??

The memory fades beyond that lot.....



A veritable small continent of snow nestled in the bilberry bushes above Marsden. Freezing cold winds whistle across Cop Hill. Hats pulled down hard, in direct contrast to the still, breathless, sticky climb up Merrydale packhorse road that led us here.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Cool, wet grass.

Apparently, or so I am led to believe.... Monday the 19th of January is the most depressing day of the year.

As for me, well it's been a pretty good day.

Apparently, or so I am led to believe.... the fire walker's mantra is "cool, wet grass.... cool, wet grass...." - We've got no shortage of cool, wet grass today. It's been snowing, and it's come damn cold again.... scuppering my walking plans along the way. If I could figure out how to get my "bowling cam" back up and running then I wouldn't have to write weather blogs all the time!!



Love me, love my canal. Anyone who knows me or knows the canal between Marsden and Slawit, will know this particular stretch very well indeed. It's a place I pass often whilst walking and it's also the most photogenic part of the route.... the light was lovely on this day when the canal was frozen over.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Peril.

The perils of pressing shift-delete.

For those of you that don't already know, you can avoid your files making their final shuffle into the Recycle Bin by holding down the shift key while you press the delete key. This deletes the files instantly, thus bypassing the security net of the bin.

For those that don't know, I've spent 310 hours playing Pokemon Diamond (since October 18th to this morning). It's been a real labour of love and my creatures were just starting to really like me... I mean REALLY like me!!

For those that don't know - I am a complete idiot and accidentally shift-deleted both the Pokemon game and my progress save file.

D'OH!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Struggle.....

I ALWAYS say I should never drink and blog.....

I ALWAYS find material that I consider to be bloggable whilst drinking.......

Quandary.....

Is it the fact that I am drinking that makes life more bloggable, or is it that drinking makes me more perceptive to bloggable material..... or is it, as I suspect, that drinking simply makes me consider the mundane to be hilarious blog matter?

Cases in question.....

Drinking in the Jug and Bottle AKA "Drug and Brothel" with the rastas trying to sell me weed - I thought he said "do you want a wee?" to which I replied.... "No I'm off for a shit!!" - only joking!!

A young girl on the back seat of the bus, perturbed that I dare to sit there, moves her sprawled legs from the seat and proceeds to pretend that the bus is her office and her friends are her business clients on her mobile phone - "and if Jody asks, tell her I arranged it last Saturday and I didn't tell you 'til today!!" thereby incriminating her accomplices in the lie. I did particularly enjoy the ten minutes she spent pressing buttons and pretending to be texting or doing something with her phone when nobody was bothered about her.

Watching a young lady flicking through a book of guitar tabulations.... she was reading the classic Oasis hit - Don't look back in anger ..... she then flicked through to Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge over troubled waters - as she closed the book, I noticed, with immense kudos, that she was reading "Ukelele Chart Hits".........

Judge for yassen!!



Although this duck appeared outside the Riverhead in Marsden, my mum swears blind she saw it in Slawit..... I think it was a cuckoo!!!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

C C C C Cold......

Apparently, and these are not my words, but apparently last night was the coldest night in Yorkshire.... ever, or at least since the recording of data was established, a trifling forty some years ago. Ironically, I couldn't tell you what that temperature was!!

Crisp day, crunchy, a bit frosty, a bit snowy, very icy.

Went for a walk down the canal from Slawit to Marsden.... Mum's just started walking as a new year resolution, so given the tricky conditions underfoot and inadequate walking equipment we did quite well to make it to the Riverhead public house for a stunning pint of American Pale Ale with its staggeringly good alcohol level - a fitting reward for the journey.

Spent the rest of the afternoon taking care of those twelfth night logistics.... ripping up christmas cards and burning down the christmas decorations..... saves on the loft space!!!



Self portrait at Scapegoat Hill!!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Rather randomly....

... and even more trivially......

Whilst catching up on some Pogo badges in "Trivial Pursuit Daily", I have come across some interesting but entirely useless information....

Hitler's favourite film was King Kong.

Winston Churchill smoked two cigars a day.

The kookaburra is the largest of all the kingfishers.

150 years ago, Reuters began as a line of carrier pigeons, carrying banking information between Aachen and Brussels (a two hour flight).

Orville Wright flew for 43 years without a pilot's licence.

Go figure...... It snowed last night and it's bloody cold now - The peak temperature for the rest of the whole week is four degrees (C)!!!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Magnetic.

It's been said that I have a magnetic personality.... not just any old magnetic personality, but a very special one that only attracts bloody weirdos!! Case in question, in the time it took Dawn to pay a little visit to the ladies' room, I'd attracted conversation with three Belgian beer fans, one of whom proceeded to tell me about the specific dose of antibiotics it had taken to clear up a leg infection he contracted whist swimming in Samoa!?!?! Try as I might, I simply could not get out of the door fast enough....

Anyhoo.....

Managed to get out walking today, and that's something that pleases me very much. We walked a section of the Pennine Way up to Black Moss Reservoir and back down into Marsden. It was so cold out there on top of the moors that we actually managed to walk out onto the surface of the frozen Black Moss itself - Don't try this at home, we're both highly trained idiots, and the dog looked funny skidding about out there!!!

A few weeks ago, sitting stupidly, as I so often do, on the floor, with my feet and legs screwed up underneath me...... The upshot of this is that my feet end up going completely dead.... When I stood up and walked, my foot sort of folded up beneath me so that instead of pointing forwards, it pointed backwards, with the sole facing up....... ouch!

I am sure I've broken something, and today's walk has highlighted this very fact. Like a typical bloke, rather that going to a doctor or hospital casualty department, I'll try and walk it off!!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Warming up.

Well the thaw has arrived and the sun's been out. Everything back to normal.... or is it?? I've still got roses that are blooming in my garden and the frost certainly hasn't stopped their unseasonal display!!

They say simple thing please simple minds, and if that's the case then I must be very stupid.... case in question:

Whilst playing Tiger Woods 2008 on my Wii today, I suddenly found myself laughing out loud as the commentator announced "Aphrodite Papadapolus looking for a birdie". It's most certainly not the kind of sentence that you hear uttered every day. Suffice to say I eventually won the tournament and had the last laugh as I was declared player of the month!!

I need a life/beer (delete as applicable).

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Cold....

It's so cold (by dear old Blighty standards at least). Yesterday, for the first time ever, I witnessed freezing fog. A veil of icing sugar drifted down across the misty slopes of Huddersfield for the entire day. On the local weather last night I heard that the peak temperature during the day had been a chilling minus four degrees (centigrade) which is fairly rare in this place!!

Dry cold is nicer than wet cold, and cold weather is not so bad when your central heating is working and you've just gotten shut of a nasty strain of flu. All this being said, I enjoy the scenery when it's all coated with a deep, hard frost.

As for the rest of it, we went and got a bit pickled at the faithful Barge and Barrel - I was drinking a couple of really excellent beers - Phoenix's Black Bee and Durham's White Amarillo - very nice indeed - Dawn managed to stay off the cider bus for a night and got a bit merry on Leffe (a giant killer of a brew!!). We came home for just after 11 o' clock and I cooked a few snacks and we saw the new year in with a cuppa and a game on the Wii.

White rabbits..... pinch and a punch..... happy new year...... apparently Alaska and Hawaii are the last to experience the turning of the page? correct me if I'm wrong.