Sunday, June 29, 2014

A blow for electric vehicle owners

This week saw the end of the subsides for charging points for electric vehicles. This means local councils and organisations will now have to put the prices of charging up to pay the costs of the system in full.
Electric vehicles suffer a number of issues, the limited range being probably the biggest problem, sadly battery technology hasn't kept up so range tends to be poor.  The other longer term issue is battery life, I'm told the batteries are only good for a few years, after that owners face an very expensive replacement.
Now with the cost of charging away from home going up sharply it's going to make people think twice about buying electric cars.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Handy hint.

Don't keep the fly spray next to the deodorant unless you want moth-proof armpits!

Domestic violence during world cup

According to fugues published this week domestic violence against women increased by 38% during the world cup.  It seems that some men get so stressed up about the national sides game they take it out on their partner/wife/girlfriend.
A few things occur to me. The first is if this is true, and it's been known for some years then maybe a battered wife/GF etc might just have a claim against the tv company for encouraging violence, after all the tv companies have a duty to protect their viewers from harm caused by their programs.  The second thing is...   come on guys! it's a game, stop takign it so seriously.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


We went to Porthcawl a few days back, the fair was shut by half six, bloody silly in the middle of summer if you ask me, still heres a few pics.

Not-right Apocalypse Port Talbot

Watch the strangely dressed creatures shuffle aimlessly around the town centre. 
Watch them dribble and splutter cake crumbs. 
Watch them walk out in front of you and stop dead. 
Watch them freeze in terror when the come to a doorway. 
Watch the gangs of strangely dressed walking stick carrying mutants blocking up the isles in the bloody supermarket....   Bugger that just run the silly fuckers over!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

University of Massachusetts lowell madness!

The university of Massachusetts Lowell appears to be encouraging students and staff to hack your pin number.  Yes stupid or what!  You'd think a world famous university would discourage it's students and staff from becoming criminals, but they appear to be doing the opposite!
Professor Xinwen Lu of the university has developed a program that worked with Google glass (google= we want all your data) to read your pin number from 3 meters away, and it'll work with other smart phone too.
The professor is going to show the system off at the Blackhat hackers convention.
Now why a reputable university would fund such research is questionable, you have to wonder their motives, personally if I was dean the professor would be looking for a new job tomorrow. 
After all even the suggestion the university is encouraging hacking is worrying, time for the FBI to get involved I think

A few from the marina

While waiting for a hospital appointment yesterday I get a few pics of Swansea marina.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Now heres a thought?

How come mouthwash has a child proof top, yet shampoo, bio washing liquid, and bottles of engine oil don't?  Makes me wonder how dangerious mouthwash must be!

Oh Joy! It's Wimbledon (hint of sarcasm)

Yes Oh joy Wimbledon is starting!  (trying to sound enthusiastic) Oh God Wimbledon is starting! ( actually sounding really pissed off)  
We've had the world cup, then queens tennis now more of the BBC's obsession with sport. Weeks of people paying too much for strawberries and overpaid twits hitting a ball back and fro, sometimes even getting it over the net, and lets not forget the grunting, that's essential!  Of course they didn't used to do it but now it seems tennis is a bloody noisy sport, makes the formula one grand prix sound quiet!
Even worse half the breakfast news is now more twits standing in the empty centre court telling us it's Wimbledon time again..... Errr we noticed, you mention it every 45 seconds, and lets not forget your a news program not a sports program, so how about some news that doesn't involve tennis.... there is real news isn't there?  Come on there must be some real news?  What honestly, theres no news just Wimbledon?  What no terrorists in Iraq?, No missing jumbo jets?  No?  Ok then it's bloody tennis I guess.
Thank goodness for Al Jazerra, a news program with NO BLOODY TENNIS!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A few from yesterday

Hot weather

We're having a lovely hot weather spell at the moment, wonder how long it'll last.......

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Hot weather camera advice

In the recent spell of hot weather heres some common sense advise about keeping your cameras safe.

Dont leave your camera in the car boot, first off it's lightly to get stolen but more importantly it gets bloody hot in a car left in the sun, cameras don't like the heat too much, the oil used to lubricate bits can run onto bits it shouldn't be on, the glue holding it together can melt and worst off some circuitsand things can die, cpu chips for example.
(and don't leave you dog in the car either, even with a window open a bit)

Out in the sun.  A black camera just soaks up the heat so much the same applies, keep it out of the sun as much as possible.
Some people go so far as to keep their camera kit in a cooler box to keep it cool, if you do DO NOT use the cooler/ice packs, the moisture is really bad for the camera, a much simpler answer is to put a bit of white cloth (a clean hanky maybe?) or a bit of one of those silver space blankets over the camera when it's not in use, it'll help reflect the heat away.
A thick padded camera bag will keep a fair amount of heat off, but again don't leave it out in the sun all day.

The beach.  Sand and salt water are your deadly enemy!  Get them on your camera and your most lightly going to get a problem, a dunking in salt water is usually terminal for cameras, and sand gets in everywhere and grinds up the workings.  A friend of mine has a compact they took to the beach, every time the lens comes out it makes a horrible grinding scraping sound from a tiny bit of sand that got in, it'll not last long I suspect.
Also it's worth noting that many mosquito repellents contain a chemical that melts plastic, indeed the one we had in the army was so strong it used to melt the rifle stocks and our plastic compass, that wouldn't be good for your camera either.
Same with suncream, nasty greassy stuff getting on the camera can't be good for it..

Probably the simplest answer is a cheap waterproof camera...... I really must buy one!

Do as I say not as I do!

Well done to  the minister for tourism Helen Grant, she decided that people should have a 'staycation' (stay at home) while she's sitting in the sun in Brazil on a world cup 'vacation' (probably paid for by us) very nice of her to suggest it but maybe she should take her own advice next time.... after all if it's good enough for you.....

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tony Blair

It's hard to watch Tony Blair stand there and with a straight face tell us the the problems in Iraq are not our fault, well he's partly right, it's his fault not ours.  His disastrous invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and the destabilising of the country is totally to blame.
The excuse for the invasion was based on A Iraq was behind 9/11and B Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, both fatally flawed.  As it turned out and was well known at the time 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudi Arabians (as was Bin Laden) and Saddam Hussein would have nothing to do with Bin Laden.  As for the weapons of mass destruction, well they simply never existed (as was also known at the time) I remember laughing out loud when Blair came on TV and told us we were at a 45 minute risk of missile attack with chemical warheads.
Errr how exactly was that supposed to happen then Tony?  The Scud missile that so terrified our government isn't quite as scary to me as it sounds, you see the missile has a maximum range of.....  340 miles.... yes that's right 340 miles, and Iraq is... 2538 miles away.   So a slight problem for the 45 minute missile theory, I mean if the Iraqis launched from France maybe just maybe they could hit us, remember they had trouble hitting Israel the country next door, and the version they were using was home modified (bodged) and had a lot of failures to boot.
If he really believes we're not at fault then frankly he probably need professional help, the reason most of these middle eastern countries have tyrant leaders is because they've learnt that it's what it takes to manage those countries, centuries of war have taught them that.  It simply doesn't work with a western type govenment.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Back to Southerndown (dunraven bay) AKA bad wolf bay from Dr Who

I went back yesterday and heres a few pics, theres more to come.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Some flowers from the other day.

New window design fail

I've got nice new double glazed windows, the problem is opening the bloody things! 
You see the genius who designed them fitted the windows with two small catches.  You open the window about 6 inches and it stops, to open it further you push two small green tabs (in the window rebate) and then push the window open further.
It's designed that way to stop small children opening the window wide and getting out  Now the fact I haven't got small children, or that small children will get through the original gap doesn't seem to have occurred to the designer.
The idea behind the green tabs is so I can open the window in say a the event of a fire and still get out by opening it wider. 
The problem is thats not going to happen. You see for that to work first you have to open the window until it stops, then you have to find the two small green tabs (really quite small and well up in the gap, one on each side of the window)   Now the tricky bit, you have to press and hold both tabs before you can open the window further, then using your third hand you push the window open wider while holding the two tabs in......  Trouble is I, like most people I know only have two fucking hands to start with.  So unless the window was designed for octopus's to use.... 
Ok thats a bit unlikely I'll grant you but you get the point, opening the window is pretty much a two person job, now try doing that in the dark on your own after just being woken up by a fire and you get some idea of the problem.

You really couldn't make this up!

I was out yesterday and saw an infants class walking in a 'crocodile'  just the same as we used to as children, all in pairs holding hands..... except that this class all had bright yellow hi-visibility jackets on, Oh the teachers didn't of course, that would look stupid!
I wonder sometimes, what do the school think a yellow jacket is going to do? it doesn't make the child invulnerable. If they run in the road they'll still get hit by a car. I wouldn't have said anything if it had been dark but this was 11.00 in the morning of a bright sunny day, if a driver can't see a child in that light a yellow jacket isn't going to help, trust me.
Come on people, time for a common sense pill I think.

Taking a better landscape photograph

Heres some basic advice on making your landscape photos look better.

1.  If there's a horizon in the photo try and get it level, especially if the sea is involved, there's nothing worse than seeing the sea sloping downhill.

2.  Try not to have the horizon on the halfway point in the picture, it usually looks better either a third or two thirds of the way up in a pic. (there are exceptions)

3.  Noon isn't the best time of day for landscapes, most of the serious landscape shooter prefer the light first thing in the morning or late in the day.

4.  The 'rule' of the thirds. Divide your image up into 9 squares with two lines across vertically and two  horizontally the four points where the line cross (red dots in pic) are the strongest parts of the scene, so compose your image with an important point on one of these if you can.

5.  It's ok to move things to make the pic look better, so if theres an empty coke can in the foreground shift it unless you want it there.

6.  For most landscapes try to have more than one element, ideally have a background, a mid ground and foreground interest, if nothing else try and get the foreground and background objects, an old log or rock in the foreground perhaps and the mountain range for a background will look much more interesting than just the mountains.

Remember these are not RULES! they are just guidance, if you like the way something looks then you take it that way, something these so called rules just don't work in the real world, and besides your photos are for you.

And most important of all have fun..

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Passport office

The passport office has gone into meltdown, never quick to sort passports out the office has over recent years cut back staff, now it simply can't cope with the demand.  Lots of people are going to miss their holidays, for many it's the passport offices fault, that said some have left it rather late to order a passport. One family knowing it can take around four weeks for a passport to arrive normally, only ordered their childs passport five and a half weeks before they are supposed to leave.  At best it was cutting it fine, now it's starting to look like an expensive mistake as theres no sign of the passport and two days left before they are due to leave.

Swansea city centre

Well what a total shambles.  Every year for as long as I can remember Swansea city council allow the roads to be dug up on the approach to the city at the busiest time.  This means every year at the busiest time of the summer the roads into Swansea are jammed solid, so bad that a lot of people simply avoid Swansea altogether now, I do, and I live near the city.
Honestly it's total madness, I sometime wonder if the road works in Swansea are sponsered by Cardiff chamber of trade, they members must make a fortune out of all the people who now go to Cardiff to shop because they can't get into Swansea.
Why in the name of all thats holy don't the silly sods do it at a quite time of year, not bloody Christmas and the middle of summer.  And come to that why does the same road need to be dug up twice a bloody year anyway, how crap a job must they be doing if it only lasts 6 months? The roman roads are still around centuries later, with all the clever tech we have now Jersey Marine lasta few months.  Maybe time to get some Roman labour to fix the fucking road properly?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Monday, June 9, 2014

Rik Mayall died today

Rik Mayall died today aged 56 
Rik, best remembered for his roles in Bottom and the Young Ones with Adrian Edmondson passed away at his London home today, Rik leaves a wife and three children.

He first appeared as Kevin Turvey in a kick up the eighties, moving on to The Young Ones, Blackadder, The Comic Strip, The Dangerious Brothers, Filthy Rich and Catflap, The New Statsman, and many many other shows.
He was originally the first choice for the lead role in tv series Jonathan Creek, but a quad bike accident in which he nearly died meant the role went to Alan Davies.  Rik later appeared in the series as a guest star.

Over the last week or so I've been watching the five Bottom live stage shows (managed to see one show live) Even now eleven years later the shows still make me laugh out loud.

Thanks for all the laughter Rik, God bless you.

                                       Rik as Richie in Bottom.

St Fagans

I went back to St Fagans yesterday, the place has so much to take photographs of. Sadly between my back pain and the fact it poured down later I didn't get anything like as much as I would have liked to shoot.
The only good point is it was warm enough to dry us all out by the time we got home.