Monday, 30 July 2007

The long wait

If you've been following this you will know I'm not the most patient person in the world. I hate waiting for things be it a new phone or a new car!

Not long now until I collect my 51 Freelander but it feels like forever, funnily enough I haven't had the 'kid at Christmas' feeling on this one. Perhaps after 45+ cars in my driving career the effect of getting a new one is wearing off. In fact I'm more concerned about the progress of the Foutrack on eBay, hope to get a decent price for it but to be honest I just need it gone so it's selling without a reserve *gulp*

Will be putting the Freelander to use straight away, my photog bud and I will be heading to Exmoor after we collect it to get some photos. So hopefully at the weekend I'll be able to upload some photo's of the truck as well as from it's first outing.

Ah well, back to waiting, waiting, waiting ....


Friday, 27 July 2007

New Phone - Part III

Well finally the Samsung S500i is repaired and ready for collection from the O2 store. It took them 14 [working] days to repair it though. Part of the problem is they couldn't find the proof of purchase on their system, despite me buying it from an O2 store, so were attempting to charge me for the repair.

That didn't irk me too badly though, what did is that I had to call them for an update, I then had the hassle of proving I purchased the phone and it being in warranty. This is a new model and hasn't been out 12 months yet!

Then I get a call the next day advising of the charge on the repair and how am I going to pay for it .... ! I put them straight then got a call 48 hours later to advise it's fixed. Time will tell I guess but I'll be selling it straight away so hope it's fine.


Mac Mini - Part V

Hmm, first time I've hit a 'Part V'. Some sort of milestone I suppose ... Anyway since the move of the server into the loft space the Mac seems to have lost sight of the Windows network shares. Bit of a bind as this is my fileserver and has all my needed files on there.

I guess it will be a case of checking the whole thing this weekend [after the various jobs] and ascertaining where the problem lies. I also need to swap out a GigaBit switch downstairs as this 'appears' to be working but isn't passing data. Bit of a bind as the only spare I have left is an unreliable Netgear :(

Will be shutting down one of the 8Mb DSL's I have into the house as I no longer need [or use] the redundant link. I will then be looking to see if I can use the two spare Netgear routers as wireless repeaters to boost the signal around my property. Don't hold out much hope though and no doubt I will end up buying repeaters.

Anyway, in short the Mac is holding up well apart from an issue where when booted from power off it appears to go directly into sleep mode. Also have a problem with the Mac keyboard and mouse but no doubt I'll overcome all this shortly.


Gaming & Frustrations

So I'm 76% of the way through Colin McRae : Dirt and I've had some blinding results with an average finish of 1st, 70 wins and only 7 losses. Then I start one of the last tiers and it's all gone to hell! I am racing a track I have done once before in a favoured car and it just refuses to handle. Why oh why do games do this, they suck you in then go stupidly hard causing you to lose interest.

Had it with Overlord too, getting along fine, loved the game the *WHAM* rock hard, made me lose interest and I haven't picked it up since. I guess I will again one day but that day is a long way away. Too many good solid, consistent games out there to be played.

I get a couple of hours a night of gaming time, I don't want to waste them getting frustrated at a game and ending up more stressed than when I picked up the controller!

Ah well, time to get another new game I suppose so there is an upside ;)


Buy low sell high

Well the Fourtrak is getting some interest so thats good, will be sorry to see it go but I need to get rid of it ready for the arrival of the Freelander next week. Got all the cash sorted, will have to nip to the bank then head out and hand it over [the hardest part].

Need to nip into a local city in the morning with it and that will be hard work as it will be only my second drive in it. Had in excess of 40 vehicles in my driving career so am used to changing them all the time and driving different cars. Always a nerve racking first few miles though.

The weather is improving today, no doubt it will be raining this weekend though, I need to cut the grass and decorate my daughters room this weekend. Guess if it's raining I'll do the decorating and if it's not I'll cut the grass first then grab a brush.

I hate decorating but it *has* to be done, I started it along time ago and just haven't had the energy to finish it. You know the way, you rush on into something then lose all enthusiasm when it comes to finishing it the day after.

Well I ramble on, nothing much happening today as it's all very quiet & dull here, Just counting the hours until the weekend when I can have a nice lie in and crack on with the jobs I have hanging over me.


Thursday, 26 July 2007

Yet another new vehicle - Part II

Well I popped out to see the Freelander last night, was only down the road and we were there delivering a bike anyway. Looked a good little motor and went like a dream, managed to get it a little off the screen price but not alot. Enough to fill her up, buy some shiney bits and run it for a bit though :)

Got a few excess bits too which I will be selling to buy more shiney bits, I do love em, in time but for now I'm going to run it about for a bit.

I will be collecting it next Thursday, cleaning it on the weekend so watch out for some photos in Part III. The sad thing is I now have to sell the Fourtrak which has served me so well in the short time I've had it, the old girl is a blast and I'll be sorry to see it go.


Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Celestial photographs - Part II

Well after speaking to a few people in the know [] it transpires that my fears are realised in that it isn't easy to shoot anything but Lunar shots with a smaller scope. Couple this with the fact it will need to be orientated everytime I move it and I can see this is a long old job. I still think I might get one in a year or two but I'm going to wait until my daughter is old enough to be interested in the stars before I commit to getting one.

Oh well thats another £400 saved and one less toy resigned to the loft after little use.


Yet another new vehicle

I have been driving the Fourtrak alot lately because it's just so much fun, my daughter loves it too as she can "see into the fields and watch all the sheep" so I'm looking to upgrade it. Now I was thinking of getting a newer Fourtrak but after looking around it appears they simply changed the lights and nothing else. It's exactly the same inside as my old '98 so no point changing. Most even had nearly double the mileage as mine!

So after looking around and checking out a mates Landrover Freelander I quite fancy one of them. Was looking at the petrol model until he told me of the many issues they suffer from, then the Di until I spotted all the bad reviews they got. Ok ok you win I'll get the damn TD4 version ;) More money but more reliable and a better drive with better spec than most. I was tempted by the ES version but decided more toys is more to go wrong and I'd be more reluctant to drive a newer [cleaner] model down the lanes I need to park it in.

Soo, the Skoda will be passed to the missus, her Corsa sold, my Fourtrak sold and Freelander replacing the two of them. Makes sense to lose one of the unused vehicles, will save me a fortune on insurance and tax alone!

Popping to see one tonight, a little more than I wanted to spend but I'm hoping to hammer down the price, also comes with a soft-top which I will sell on to recoup some of the overspend. Lovely example with only 35k on the clock so hopefully I will get it. Keep your fingers crossed for me :)


Mac Mini - Part IIII

Well, the RAM went in without too much cursing. It is a mare of a job getting the top case off simply because it's all so tight. I managed to put a few marks in the base but all in all it's been worth it. After a couple of heart stopping moments, it wouldn't boot because the chassis wasn't grounded by the corner screws and then it booting into sleep mode, it shows the 2GB of RAM and Apple Aperture installed without error.

I am disappointed with the 'Mighty' mouse and Apple keyboard though, they don't work through my KVM USB switch and have to be directly connected. Then I have to set-up the keyboard to allow it to be used as an Apple original and not generic. The trouble is though that the keyboard set-up util keeps telling me it's an internal keyboard so I can't set it up!

Every other thing I have plugged in works a treat without drivers, including the Maxtor external HDD. The only thing that has thus far failed is the Apple kit! Disappointing.


Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Mac Mini - Part III

Well the RAM arrived today, 2GB for £59 thats a £110 saving off Apple prices! Alright I now have the issue of fitting it but it's not like I'm useless at these things :)

Will be squeezing it in tonight, installing Aperture then re-touching a lot of my shots to see what difference it makes. Should also get the Apple keyboard & mouse today as well as the external HDD. Will be able to set-up a backup schedule when that shows up and now my shots are secure.

If all goes well with the Aperture trial I will be picking up a copy, £180 is a lot to spend on some software but at the end of the day I use it a lot and it's very good.


Celestial photographs

I have been considering getting a telescope for a few months now, mainly for getting celestial shots but also for a bit of star gazing with my little girl. Looking around there a re a few out there and £400 gets you a nice motorised set-up ready to take the camera.

Will be looking about and getting advice before taking the plunge nearer winter. I really don't see the point in getting a rig in this weather, even if it does clear up the light pollution is terrible and the skies hazy.


Monday, 23 July 2007

Rain & Floods

Well we had a little good weather on Sunday and I was tempted to get the SV out for the short trip to work this morning. Checked the weather out of the window this morning and yep, it's raining again. Decided against it and brought the Fourtak in instead and boy am I glad I did! It's been raining non-stop all day :(

We missed the news completely this weekend and only managed to read the paper while we waited for our Chinese take-away. Seeing the images in there of the flooding around the country really brings it home to you. We have both friends and family living in or near the affected areas, thankfully they are all ok.

I'm glad we live on a hill, we are quite a few hundred feet above sea level here and nothing in the way of major rivers. The little ones we have around us are more like streams and nowhere near our house. I do wish I had fixed the leaky roof when I had chance though :(

I hope this post finds you well and that you are all safe, warm and dry. My thoughts are with all those people affected.


Sunday, 22 July 2007

Mac Mini - Part II

Well I've managed to get the study sorted out and removed the unreliable shuttle from the equation. I've also moved my file server and wireless routers into the loft. Makes alot more room in the study and it's generally a nicer place to be working in :)

Tried to install Apple Aperture onto the Mac and it tells me I've not got enough RAM LOL, I kind of expected that but thought the app would install and just run slowly. Anyway I've ordered some more RAM from Crucial [] at £60[ish] for 2GB! I also ordered a 320GB external HDD, Mac Keyboard and Mighty Mouse from Apple. Added an iPod dock at the last minute so the whole order came in around £200 and everything will be here mid next week.

Hope to have Aperture up & running by the weekend and the new backup solution in place. Happy days!


Friday, 20 July 2007

Favourite photos

Well I've figured out the way to link my photos to the originating gallery on my site now LOL. You'd think it would be easy but I honestly have never bothered spending much time doing it.

Here's a few of my favourites:

As you can probably tell, I do love skys and sunsets :)


Mac Mini - Off to the dark side

Well I've started the transfer to the dark side, or so some would say. Me I say I'm off to the light side, the side that offers speed, function, reliability and most of all security!

Got myself a 1.66Ghz Mac Mini to process my photos on, the main reason being the PC I was previously using is so badly unreliable that it was impossible for me to actually ever process any. Couple that with the fact that I lost *alot* of shots recently and you can see the reasoning.

Fired it up out of the box last night and was running inside 5 minutes, amazing! Will be running various installs tonight and I'll see how it copes with that. Should be able to use it in anger this weekend and will post some shots for all to see.

If all works out I will grab myself a 3Ghz Mac Pro and use the Mini for streaming media, the mini is my proverbial toe in the water ;)


Birthdays - Part II

Well thats another one done & dusted for another year!

Got some really cool presents including a 7" LCD photoframe and a wall mountable 10.4" LCD photoframe. Will be spending the weekend sorting where they go and getting some shots on them.

Also bought myself a 1.66Ghz Mac Mini to process my shots on too, more on that in a mo :)


Thursday, 19 July 2007


Well today is my birthday, you know as you get older you get less excited about the day and all it represents. I got some cool presents though so thats good and I'm gonna have a lovely meal tonight and some time with the missus. Guess birthdays aren't so bad after all :)

Anyway, "Happy birthday too me" and a fun day to you all :)


Project Gixxer - Part III

Should now be called "Project stripdown & fill garage with bits" !!

Got the motor out last night by eventually laying the frame and motor on it's side and wiggling the frame off it! Then drop the swinger out and the forks and start some test fits, and therein start the problems:

  • No front engine mounts for the gixxer engine in the Kat frame

  • Engine too big for frame

  • No 'stops' on the Kat frame for the GSXR forks

  • GSXR swing-arm too wide for the Kat frame

  • GSXR swing-arm fouls Kat frame at several points

  • No suspension mounts for GSXR rear suspension on Kat frame

  • Now while none of these problems is insurmountable, the whole lot are if you catch my drift. I have spent alot of time and money getting the Kat original so far and this transplant was never going to be a full time deal. I only wanted it to get the Kat on the road quickly. Now I will be sorting the rear sub-frame on the GSXR and getting that on the road, sell it on and sort the engine in the Kat.

    I currently have 3 bikes:

  • 2004 Suzuki SV650 K4

  • 1984 Suzuki GSX750SE3

  • 1989 Suzuki GSXR 750

  • And 3 cars:

  • 2006 Skoda Fabia vRS

  • 2000 Vauxhall Corsa 1.2

  • 1987 Daihatsu Fourtrak 2.8TD

  • So you can see my problem, too many vehicles and not enough time to drive them all. Will be getting rid of the missus' Corsa, giving her my Skoda and replacing the Fourtrak with a newer one as I simply love driving that.

    Will then punt the GSXR out and use the SV as a daily runner and the Kat for show runs etc. Keep your peepers here for more updates as they happen.


    Tuesday, 17 July 2007

    Pet hates

    Won't tell you yet or it would ruin the picture story ;) Now are we all sitting comfortably, then I'll begin ....

    Picture the scene, it's an idylic spot:

    Not a cloud in the sky:

    The bee's are buzzing:

    The swans are swimming:

    All is right with the world then you turn the corner and BHAM:

    This undeniably disgusting site hits you, the horror will probably escape you [as thankfully the stink will] as I haven't been able to imortalise all the rubbish within. You would be amazed by the amount of bottles and general rubbish in here. I mean it begs the question ... Why?

    *sigh* I hate rubbish! Take it home with you people, and if you don't want to then stay home with your rubbish and leave the countryside to those of us who respect it.


    Forgotten Shots

    Well not forgotten in the strictest terms but I did forget to upload them :

    I was looking through the new shots and pondering labelling them all and realised there were a few missing. Some of the galleries had failled to upload all the shots and I had forgotten to upload a whole gallery of Wells Cathedral :(

    Some of the better ones for you listed below, the light was superb and I was testing out my new lenses:

    Enjoy, see the whole series at


    Project Gixxer - Part II

    Ah yet again Blogger decided to blank my post, seems you are not supposed to change the font or colour of the text. Then why have the frickin options!!!!

    Right so I've calmed down now, guess I'll just keep using this while I evaluate other options!

    Anyway the story so far is that the project is stalled and the motor and running gear are going into the Kat I have in the garage. Having stripped the GSXR down it looks like the motor will fit into the Kat frame without any hassle, quick measurements on the forks and swing-arm also show they should fit.

    I will be dropping the motor out tonight and will take some detailed measurements to be sure then progressing from there. This of course highlights the need for a paint job on the Kat. Now as I have 2 sets of bodywork I was going to paint one in original SE4 colours and one in Candy Apple Green [lovelly!]. Not sure which set to paint first though so will have to decide and crack on with it.

    We aren't really having the right weather to entertain the idea of painting but it has to be done, will need to clean, seal and warm the garage ready and just crack on. At least it gives me something to do in this bleeding awful weather :(

    Will try to get some shots of the two bikes tonight and get them on-line tomorrow.


    Monday, 16 July 2007

    *finally* cleared my backlog of photos

    I managed to finally clear the backlog this weekend, around 12 hours to get the newly re-installed machine to the point where it would allow me to use it again. Required another re-install after yet another bleeding virus!

    So anyway, here's some of the photo's for your viewing pleasure:

    Enjoy and as usual the rest are at the site in my sig :)


    New Phone - Part II

    Well I looked at the N95 simply because fo the wireless but I just couldn't live with the battery life. Looked at the N80 as this has wireless and the same features and battery life as the N73 and a better screen :) Grabbed one off eBay for a bargain price so the missus will inherit the 3 day old N73 LOL.

    I will have to sell all the spares I have now, Samsung E530, D600 and S500i but such is life! Can't believe I have spent in excess of £300 on phones this month : Still cest la vie, at least I have a new phone with all the features I like on it, can't help thinking it's like the old Nokia 7650 I had years ago but with wireless.


    Thursday, 12 July 2007

    New Phone

    Grr, wrote a whole raft of rubbish on my new phone and the saga of the old one and for some reason when selecting the text to reduce the size and change the font Blogger blanked it!!!

    Oh well I can't be bothered to type the whole lot again, in short;

    Had a new Sansung S500i which wouldn't make calls, receive sms's or allow MP3 ringtones. Now back with O2 for repair. Never liked Nokia because of poor call quality but got hold of an N73 which is superb. I now have MP3 ringtones & message tones [something I've missed for a long time] and great call quality. Was seriously looking at the N95 until I heard reports of people selling the phone to go back to the N73 because of poor battery life.

    Happy days with my new phone and boooo to blogger for wiping my post! BAD BLOGGER!


    Monday, 9 July 2007

    Sunny days!

    Well we had a bit of nice weather at last this weekend. I had my little angel to stay though so couldn't really get out. I prefer quality time with her than dragging her along while I take photo's. Also had to sort a set of fork seals on a Suzuki GS500E for a mate before his MOT late Sunday. Good I have a garage because as soon as he left to come over it was torrential rain :(

    Managed to sort the seals in the end using a 20mm box spanner to secure the fork damper rod while we removed the lock bolt. Why they used locktight on the damn thing in the first place is beyond me!

    Anyway, cleaned my many vehicles too and will get some shots later this week. About time I updated the 'folio' for them. Some I've had for a while and still haven't got any photo's :

    Hoping the weather holds for this week [but it's not looking good] as I really want to get out and take some photo's. Managed to get a few processed late last week and will get them online soon.


    Monday, 2 July 2007

    Project Gixxer

    Project Gixxer has been stalled recently, have to grab a new sub-frame from the later model to make the new seat unit fit and look good. This involves more expense and to be honest I just don't fancy spending anymore cash on this right now.

    The decision has been made to strip the GSXR and squeeze the motor into my GSX750SE3 Katana, should make for a lively bike ;)

    Will also be fitting the forks and swing-arm from the GSXR into the Kat to both improve handling and tyre choice as well as use the brand new tyres fitted to the GSXR.

    I don't know whether the motor will fit without major surgery but I'm sure I can shoe horn it in there and get it running without too many issues. The forks and swing-arm should fit straight in without any issues. Will try them once I've stripped the GSXR to make sure of this and get the Kat to a rolling chassis though before I go any further.

    Will update you when I get chance and get some of the usual stripdown photographs along the way.


    It's *still* raining

    Well it feels like it's been raining for a couple of months now, can't recall the last time I saw blue skies and it's getting depressing. Haven't had chance to get out and take any photos for a while now but at least I've had some downtime to relax in. Not much you can do when it's constantly chucking down other than catch up on your Sky planner and a couple of new 360 games.

    Going to be stripping the GSXR soon though so that will give me something to do in the coming weeks.

    Here's hoping summer is not far away.