ta da!

Well here I am with another of my intermittent posts, the reason for the long gaps between posts? predominantly because not very much exciting happens regularly in my mundane and ordinary life, particularly in the winter months.

I had a couple of firework evenings at the beginning of November, one at a friends house which was rather brilliant, the other was a bonfire parade at Rye. If I’m honest I enjoyed the friends event much more enjoyable than the organised event in Rye.

I’ve been been doing a lot of model painting, readers who follow the Project Necron will be all too aware of that.

On the Wednesday just gone (12/12/12) I finally got to see Skyfall, I was blown away at the cinema for two reasons. Primarily the film was spectacular, every inch a Bond film and I thoroughly enjoyed every second. The second reason for my shocked reaction was the cost of the grub. I like toffee popcorn and I really enjoy a pack whilst watching a film. So before going into the screen room to settle down with my popcorn I went to buy a pack, Cineworlds own brand, NOT butterkist. The lass behind the counter slapped the pack on the counter and rang it through and then happily announced that a bag of popcorn would set me back £3.95, I almost choked and I had to ask if she was sure about the price? she confirmed that the price was indeed correct, I pointed out the fact that I could buy three packs of a better quality popcorn in any supermarket for the price the cinema was asking. the young lady expressed her view on this with a rather exaggerated shrug and asked if I still wanted the popcorn, at £3.95 I would give it a miss. the lack of popcorn didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the film and I have no issue with buying my popcorn elsewhere and smuggling it in for future trips.

Something that I am really looking forward to is Friday December 21, those in the know are aware that a bunch of looneys have got into their heads that world will end on this date, so over the next couple of days I plan to write a post dedicated to all those poor chaps who are going to wake up on Saturday morning very disappointed.

well that’s enough drivel for now

Yup, that was fun!

Another long gap between posts, oh well! despite the lack of posts the last two weeks have been far from dull, After the brilliant day out in London I had the week off work, long overdue and far too short. On the Monday we had to take Ziggy to the vets as he’s been scratching at his right ear rather intensely, it turns out that the main problem was that it was excessively mucky but the vet gave him some antibiotic drops just to be on the safe side. All was going well with treating his ear until it was pointed out that the drops I’d been putting in his ear weren’t the ear drops, they were in fact Metacam which is a doggy pain killer, oops. So after using the correct drops the ear has cleared up nicely. On the Tuesday of y week off I had a day out on a bus journey. Starting off in Folkestone I caught a bus to Ashford, A short walk through the town to the stop for the bus to Maidstone. The journey from Folkestone to Ashford is just over an hour, as is the trip from Ashford to Maidstone. Sadly Maidstone was a major let down. There’s far too many empty shops and the shopping centre, that used to be brimming with interesting shops is now full of empty units and stalls selling cheap mobile phone accessories and others selling “retro” sweets. It seems that “retro” means buying a box full of Haribo jelly sweets, emptying them into plastic versions of the jars that boiled sweets used to come in and selling them at three times the cost for half the amount.

So because I didn’t need an accessory for my phone and it was cheaper to buy a pack of Haribo that was still in the proper bag, I headed for the bus stop to get the bus down to Hastings. This was where it all started to go wrong, according to the time table the bus was due to leave at quarter past the hour, fifteen minutes later it finally arrived, a little concerned I boarded the bus and off we went. I’ve done this day out many times and every so often the route is slightly different. Originally the bus would travel from Maidstone right through to Hastings with a ten minute layover in Hawkhurst. It would then head down through Battle before arriving in what I view as being the town centre of Hastings. It changed again after a couple of years and we had to change busses in Hawkhurst before continuing to Hasting. The Hawkhurst layover was a bus depot. So there was me merrily enjoying the run into Hawkhurst, the bus took the usual turn and headed toward the depot, which is now a Tesco, and went straight past it. After checking with the driver I had to get get off at Sandhurst, this was rather worrying as I wasn’t overly sure on the connection. For those who aren’t overly familiar with the Kent countryside, Sandhurst is on the corner of No & where. Fortunately a bus did arrive and I was once again on my way to Hastings. Sadly the route has changed quite a lot. It no longer passes through Battle, which is a shame as it’s quite a pleasant stop if you have the time. Instead it skirts past Bodiam, and I really do mean skirts, I managed to see Bodiam Castle, but only just and that was because I was on the upper deck and I think the trees may have been trimmed. Arrival in Hastings was a bit of a new route as well. Instead of stopping near the shops, it now stops at the train station. So I got off with no idea where I was except for the fact that I was in Hastings, the sign at the station assured me of that. So all I have to say is thank heaven for a smartphone, a quick check with Google maps confirmed that I needed to head south.

It was the same in Hastings as it was in Maidstone, lots of empty shops, stall trying to sell phone stuff and repackaged, overpriced Haribo. Normally I would have loitered in Hasting for a while and taken in the old town, but for some reason I was not enjoying the trip as much as I used to so I decided to head home.

The rest of the week was quiet until Friday, Smiffy paid a visit and we did a spot of painting, (see other blog) and then we went down to the shop to help Sue pack up for the annual  model railway exhibition at the Leas Cliff Hall. That done I headed home and settle down to some mind numbing telly for the evening.

Saturday the 6th was a good day, with Sue in Folkestone I was running the shop for the day. I really enjoy covering the shop and only wish that I could do it more often. The day went well but ended all to soon.

Sunday I headed down to take in the exhibition and help Sue pack up and return the stock to the shop. I met up with Steve and Sarah from astro club and we chatted over a coffee, during my walk around I ran into a chap that I have known since he was eleven and just about to start secondary school, he’s now eighteen and made me feel very old, but he’s still a sterling chap and it’s nice seeing him as I miss the times when I would spend with his family who are very special to me, and I haven’t seen them in an age.

Back to work on Monday, nothing exciting there, I had Thursday off to take Ziggy to the vet for a check up. Although I was certain that the appointment was at 11, I walked in to be told that the appointment was actually at ten, fortunately they let me have the first slot on the the next session. Friday was another work day, but Friday meant that the next day was Saturday and Saturday meant a trip to the shop for a days gaming, actually it was a days humiliating defeat by a fifteen year old. I really can’t wait to get those Necrons finished so that I can get some decent wins out of them.

Today was Sunday and the plan was to head down to Winchelsea to join the cellar tours. I was collect from home by Lukey boy and we headed off. Despite missing the turn and driving straight past Winchelsea we got there with minimal fuss but about an hour early so Lukey boy suggested that we do the right thing and have a pint. Well it would have been rude not to. Whilst we were enjoying a pint of Abbots some other patrons had a roast dinner arrive at their table, and oh lord it looked good (sorry Trudes) so after a few minutes of careful thought and consideration we decided to hell with the cost and ordered up a roast beef dinner each. Good company, a half decent beer and a rather tasty dinner, what more could a fella ask for? I was momentarily distracted from my nosh when Tina and Lisa walked in to tell us that they and Manky were sat in the beer garden. once we were finished we joined them, finished the beer and headed over to the village church where we visited the grave of the late and very great Spike Milligan. Just before that we met up with Steve and Sarah and Andy with his wife Julie.

After the grave we briefly parted company as Andy Julie and me headed over to see if the village museum was open, it wasn’t! So we headed to the meet up point for the cellar tour.

The cellar tour was fascinating, Winchelsea has more cellars than any other town of village in the UK, except for Southampton and another town that I can’t remember. Of the 58? cellars in Winchelsea 33 are accessible and we visited three of them, each one was slightly different in it’s design. the final one was huge and had been divided into three separate cellars that were only linked by a missing section of the dividing walls. Our group did get shouted at by an unhappy local who was probably miffed that there had now been three groups of around twenty people loitering outside her house, she was expressing her disapproval in some seemingly arcane language. With the cellars done we headed over to the church for a brief look around it. The church is a fantastic building that is smaller than it was a few hundred years ago, it’s likely that the stone from the missing sections were used for other buildings in the area.

We left the church and returned to the pub for a well earned cuppa before coming home where I had to make preparations for the week ahead.

The last thing that was done this week is the arranging of a trip in February to the British Museum, if the Natural History Museum trip was an indication of how the day will go, it should be another brilliant day out with some brilliant mates. Add to that he addition of the annual trip to the Toy Fair at the end of January, the week leading up to my birthday is turning out to be something to look forward to.

I have a couple of events coming up at the beginning of November but I’ll try to get a couple of posts in before then.

That’s it for now.

 

Ta ta

busy

Hello, I know it’s been a while, mainly because nothing of note has happened since my last entry. This week didn’t start off too well, I had Monday and Tuesday off work due to a severe case of nearly being dead. Feeling almost healthy on Wednesday I returned to work and then spent a couple of hours on Wednesday evening painting Necrons. Then the week really picked up, I left for work on Thursday morning loaded down with the Space Marines in anticipation of the fortnightly gaming session. On arrival at the shop I found Mikey waiting and he was soon followed by a chap named Sean and then Dan arrived and we chatted about the forthcoming new releases and the new format of White Dwarf for a bit before getting down to the serious business of playing with toy soldiers. Dan and Sean occupied one table with Seans Chaos Daemons and Chaos Space Marines going against Dans Blood Angels. Whilst on Table 2 My Space Marines set to it against Mikes Orks. Four hours later I managed to pull a win from a near defeat with a 6-5 win. Quite how I managed it is beyond me but it was a win so huzzah! We finished early so I headed off home.

Off to work on Friday, I toyed with the idea of taking the telescope with me, but as it was the last Friday of the month and the recent trend has been cloudy skies, I decided not to bother. For a fleeting moment during the evening I was beginning to regret the decision, but the cloud rolled in and that was that. The talk was presented by Drew and was about the possible discovery of the Higgs Boson particle. The talk was, as is the norm with Drews talks, riveting but it was somewhat brain melting. Since Jimbo and me had to be up at stupid o’clock on Saturday morning so we decided to leave Astro club a little earlier than usual, but it was nice catching up with everyone, including Matt and Kerry.

The reason for the need for an early night, was having to be out of the house by 07:30 to head up to Ashford to catch an 08:30 train to London. I was picked up by Jimbo at the ridiculous hour we had agreed, despite setting my alarm for 07:55, had I relied on the alarm I would have scuppered the day but luckily I managed to be ready and raring to go. So as planned we arrived in Ashford at eight and parked outside casa Chippy. to meet Chippy and Sam. We took a gentle stroll down to the train station where we met up with Andy, the fifth member of our team. Tickets were purchased and we were soon on the train and on our way to our nations capital. From Charing Cross it was a short walk to Embankment to get the tube over to South Kensington. Once we got there it was agreed by all that some form of breakfast was needed so we headed to a small cafe named Cafe Floris. After a hearty breakfast it was a short was to the Natural History Museum. We entered via the Exhibition Road entrance where were immediately accosted by a girly type who could easily have been an extra as a Russian spy from a Bond movie, she was very insistent on checking peoples bags, In fact she was rather scary.

Exploring the museum is always a trill for me, and although I have a set route around the building I always notice something I’ve never seen before. This time it was part of the Darwin Wing. Three of us, me Jimbo and Andy, joined a free your called the Spirit Tour. This is a walk around the wet storage labs. The majority of the specimens in jars of various sizes filled with either industrial alcohol or formaldehyde are from Darwins tenure aboard the Beagle. In fact one of the beasties we saw was actually Charles Darwins pet octopus. The wet storage is home to around 22 million specimens so there’s far to many to list here, but included in the list is a giant squid measuring 8.2 metres in length, a Colossal Squid in the same tank for comparison. There was also a Coelacanth, for those who don’t know, the Coelacanth is a species of lobe finned fish that was believed to be extinct until one was caught of the coast of South Africa in the 1930s. Unfortunately they live quite deep so the chances of seeing a live one are quite remote, unless it’s on the telly.

A bit more wandering around the museum, Including the dinosaur gallery where I took a little time to once again ponder the life of the Tyrannosaur that the skull on display once belonged to. until it was all too soon time to leave. Sam and Chippy had left us just before we toured the wet storage as they wanted to visit the V&A. We met up with them in Covent Garden where we visited a hostelry known as The White Swan where a pint of Doom Bar was most welcome. Pints enjoyed and it was off to Eds Easy Diner for grub, for me it was butterscotch milkshake, with a cheese burger with chips, onion rings and a pot of coleslaw. The salad was removed from the burger to prevent further contamination of the meat with green stuff, although I thought it best I showed willing and munched on the salad, I did draw the line at the dill pickle though. My meal was followed by a stack of buttermilk pancakes with vanilla ice cream and maple syrup, oh sweet joy! We left Eds and headed of toward what can only be described as an alley, this alley featured a couple of shops that sold good that can only be described as interesting, and although what they sold is advertised as toys, I never saw a single Transformer or nerf gun. Although there were a few items that were remote control, the mind boggles, but it would make for an interesting walk through town with your girly type (ooer)

Eventually we made our way back to Charing Cross to catch the train home, arriving home at 23:45.

By the end of the day and three very fun filled days and evenings I was absolutely shattered, the original plan had been to spend Sunday trying to find and explore a couple of deep shelters on the east side of Dover, but given the fact that I was knackered and the weather hadn’t been too great over the last couple of days I decided to cancel the event, apologies to the chaps that were going to come along for that but I really don’t think I could have managed it, I hate being old. It really was a case of the mind being willing but the body being broken.

I have the following week off work, I don’t know what I’m doing with it, there may be a cinema trip on Wednesday, other than that it’s pretty much a blank space to fill. I’m covering the shop on Saturday so that’s something to look forward to, and around the middle of the month I’m going on the Winchelsea Cellar Tour which should be interesting.

My head hurts

The last couple of weeks have not been too good for me. I struggle to get motivated on anything, recently I started work on the Necron models I have, and whilst I got two models completed I’m not happy with them. To be honest they’re shoddy even by my standards, I know that I could have done much better.

I’m pretty sure that my state of mind is taking it’s toll on herself, she has so much to deal with and she shouldn’t have to put up with my woes as well.

I see a councillor once a fortnight and he is working on some exercises with me to help bring my frame of mind up to a better level and get the medication tweaked so that it has a better effect on me. I don’t know if I am simply allowing to be glum because I have been diagnosed bipolar, or if it actually is because I’m low, does that make sense?

I know that I should be making more effort to help myself but I can’t seem to find the willpower to do anything, certainly the last thing I want to hear from people is “cheer up”, if it were that simple, I’m sure I would do. I’m fairly confident that the meds will bring me out of this fetid pit of self loathing at some point and I will just have to ride the storm until then.

hopefully my next entry will be more positive.

Time, there’s never enough of it.

Things have been quiet here, mixing in the Ziggy walks, work and other stuff that causes a fella to lose track of upkeeping a blog, My excuse, I had no time! The models that need painting are still in the box and there’s a new rule book that needs reading, guess what, I haven’t had the time. The weather’s been rubbish so I haven’t done much in the way of astronomy, the last two club nights have been cloudy so that was a bit naff.

We’ve had a new addition to the pack, on Saturday 7 July we took charge of a three month old Crestie named Missi, she’s rather adorable and she’s really taken to me and I suspect that she may soon be taking up some of the space that was left by little miss Ronnii Rockit.

On Sunday it was our annual 40k tournament, now on it’s third year it’s still a popular event and the lads were the usual well behaved chaps that behaved brilliantly and it was nice to see the chaps getting along so well.

due to being away from Trudes for two days I took Monday off work and we took Little Missi down to the vets for her vaccinations. On the way home we stopped at the light railway cafe for a quick cuppa. that was when I got a call from my Sister, she said that she had recently had a mail from our American Stepmum saying that our dad had ben taken into hospital and was being kept on oxygen. The thing is with my dad that he’s a bit of a tough cookie, well that’s how I’d come to know him, He rang me a few months ago to say that he’s been diagnosed with lung cancer, he gave me the usual “its nothing to worry about” and “I’ll be ok!” lines. We talked about the chance that he’d be over to visit this September, he said that he would probably be over as he hasn’t seen his sister in a while so a visit was overdue. He said that he looked forward to meeting Trudes and spending some time together, maybe even visiting my sister in Birmingham to sample one of her rather spectacular roast dinners, as he would have said “sounds like a plan!”

On Monday evening my phone rang, it wasn’t a number I recognised but I sort of knew where the call was from, It was my brother Jeff, it was the first time since reuniting with my dad that I’d spoken to Jeff, I only wish that the circumstances were better, Jeff was phoning to tell me that our dad had passed away earlier that day.

Jeff explained that he passed peacefully and in very little pain, this is good to know. He also said that he would keep me updated on the details of the funeral, which is very much appreciated but I think that the chances of me being there are next to impossible, but I shall be thinking of my American Family and although my dad was a tee totaller I will raise a glass in his name on Friday and I will take a moment to reflect on the few memories I have of my dad.

I hope that one day I will get the chance to meet my brothers and they will be able to help me build a fuller picture of my dad, I learnt a lot about him in the short time we were in touch and he was gracious enough to answer some of my questions about my early years, and I’m grateful for that.

So this is a post that is dedicated to the memory of my Dad, I learned that he was a good man and a fair man, he had a wonderful sense of humour and that showed through not only in the short, to short, time we spent together but also in the times we spoke on the phone. we laughed together as Father and son. I hope that there will come a time when I will sit down and my brothers and my little sister will tell me of their lives growing up with what I’m sure was a loving and nurturing father.

In closing I will say rest well Pop, I may not have known as I had wished, But I loved you and I always will.

Top pic is my dad, bottom pic is my dad and Stepmum Claire, 

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Walkies

Whilst at work last Monday I got a rather worrying call from herself, apparently Ziggy had tried to attack Uji, worrying indeed. I contacted the lady that knows Ziggy well and asked if she’d seen any aggression from him towards any of her other dogs whilst he was there, she said that he had been very well behaved.

So upon arriving home I strapped him into his harness and set off on a walk, I decided that it would be a good idea if I could also start getting him used to travelling on a bus as he’ll need to do this to see the vet. So we jumped on the local service for a short ride to the tennis courts near Martello number 3, then we headed off down to the warren. I took the opportunity to have a play with the GPS app on my phone and tracked our walk. we reached the shore line and I took Ziggy to the water to see how he would react to the waves around his feet, he wasn’t particularly keen. So giving up on taking him paddling we set off along the sea wall toward Samphire Hoe. We met a mini Schnauser and a Saluki called “Piggy”, poor Ziggy didn’t really appreciate the way that Piggy came bounding over to say hello and he showed his displeasure by running away from the poor chap. Piggy wasn’t too bothered by Ziggy not wanting say hello and returned to chasing the black Labrador that he was with. I decided that as he’d been spooked a gentle approach would best suit our fella, so I fussed him, told him not to worry and put his lead on him so that I could walk him past the other dogs. Once there was enough distance between us and them I let him off lead again. Ziggy seems to prefer being off lead, that way he can toddle along at his own pace and sniff the air and scarper if anything scares him, such as other dogs, other people, the plants, the big rocks, the water splashing as it hits the sea wall, the birds, the wind, a train, a tree, a rabbit, a bench and parked cars. I suspect that he may have chicken DNA somewhere in his crestie nature as he’s quite a timid fella and gets spooked very easily. We were walking up a hill when a small pack was heading towards us so I put the lead on and tried to calm the little chap as best as I could. We were soon surrounded by four small dogs, one of which was a very affectionate Springer who insisted that I stroked him, well it would have been rude not to. When the four dogs had gone I started to walk up the slope but Ziggy refused to follow, that is until he saw Piggy at the bottom of the slope. Because he toddles along quite slowly it wasn’t long before Piggy and his owner where within chatting distance, the lady with Piggy apologised for the earlier incident, I said there was no need to do so as no harm was done, and that Ziggy needs to learn to be more sociable with other dogs. Whilst I was talking with Piggys owner I looked down at my boy and noticed that he had what appeared to be pollen caught up in his tail and paw floof. On closer inspection I realised that it wasn’t pollen, Ziggy had, in fact, been very scared of Piggy. So scared that he would need a shower when he got home. The route home would mean walking up the hill to Martello #1, oh dear! but we did it and soon we were back home, Ziggy had his shower and some food along with the other two and settled down for a quiet night, he was knackered poor lad.

Tuesday we headed off again, this time we walked down past tower 1 and up to the tennis courts, both walks were roughly 3 miles, no wonder he was worn out. On Wednesday we returned to the earlier route and walked east along the sea wall. as we walked there was a chap with a metal detector, Ziggy found this rather troubling and since he was off lead he headed in the opposite direction, the real problem here is that I can’t run after him, mainly because that would scare him even more but also because I’m just not built for running. Anyway I finally got to him, put his lead on and walked him past the metal detector bloke, once we were far enough away I let him off again. This was all going well until we saw a chap with a fishing rod, Ziggy didn’t like him for some reason and he ran the other way. Fishing chap was very decent and he stopped walking towards us so that Ziggy lost sight of him and I could get to him and put his lead on. Thursdays walk was pretty much the same distance as Wednesdays walk except that Ziggy added a mile on to it through running away, so a three mile walk became a four mile walk. Friday was Astro club so Zig didn’t get a long walk so I took him out on Saturday. During the walk I decided to have a go at something called Geocaching, it’s a bit like a treasure hunt using a GPS device or enabled phone. We had the location set in and it wasn’t long before we found it, signed the log book and headed home. Monday we headed up into Capel for our second cache and walked back along the cliffs and through the Battle of Britain Memorial and today we headed out along the Leas in the rain for our third. We found todays cache and I left a small doctor who badge in the box. I may revisit the first one soon to leave something in the box as I didn’t have anything worth leaving on the first visit. The are a few more caches that I can visit with Ziggy and I plan on doing my own, well I actually think that I may make the first one I set up Ziggys cache and include a photo of him in the box as when I signed the log books for the first three I signed them from both of us, so I think Ziggy deserves his own geocache. All I need to do is find a good place to put it. I have a couple of locations in mind. 

A day in the city!

I had a long weekend, sort of, Saturday and Sunday of as is the norm, followed by a Bank Holiday and I had taken Tuesday of as leave although I couldn’t for the life of me remember why. In the weeks leading up to it I considered saying stuff it and save a days leave for another time but then the idea of having an extra day off started to appeal. Then herself suggested that we should make good use of the time and a friends kind offer to sit with the pups, so we headed off to London for the day. During the journey I made an interesting observation, this drought we’re having at the moment is so severe that \I saw ducks swimming in puddles, in the woods. We arrived at Charing Cross just before midday and made our way to Trafalgar Square. Whilst there I took a couple of photos, it seemed for a moment that I may have had the word “guide” somewhere upon my person as an American tourist, oh how I like them, tugged the shoulder of my jacket and asked me if we were in Trafalgar Square, I looked around and gave some thought to my response. I decided that for this short encounter I had accidently become a representative of my home nation so I settled on being helpful chap and simply said that we were indeed in Trafalgar Square, of course she knew that and told her entourage that she was right. She then asked for directions to Buck-eeng-ham Palace, this threw me for a moment until I realised that her awful pronouncing may have been a result of her accent, so I politely pointed in the right direction and said “along that road there”. Hopefully the visitors found what they were looking for and our colonial cousins will have enjoyed their visit, they may have been disappointed as Her Majesty would have been away for the day.

After the square herself said that the next port of call was China Town, It was interesting! Lots of wonderful smells but I’m not sure I find the image of various roast poultry hanging on display particularly appetising, although there were some rather tasty looking cakes which were pleading with me to take them home, I resisted! After China town we headed over to Leicester Square and then Piccadilly Circus, on the way we stopped for lunch in a place called Eds, Burger and chips with butterscotch milkshake followed by the most tasty pancakes I have ever had, topped off with vanilla ice cream and maple syrup. We the strolled along Regents Street, sadly we didn’t find or they have gone, the Warner or Disney stores and I have to be honest, Hamleys was a bit of a let down. We moved on to Carnaby Street where herself indulged her love of footwear and small bags, it was like watching a kid in a sweet shop, I swear she could have spent a fortune there.

A very short stroll down Oxford Street and it wasn’t too long until we felt that there was nothing particularly enticing, save for a Brietling shop so we jumped on the tube to Knightsbridge. A short stop for herself to rest a bit and we walked into Harrods, I got told off for having my bag on my shoulder, so I carried it in my hand at least until we were out of the security guards sight. The reason for the Harrods visit was to take a look at the pet department, some very cute pups were for sale but not on my budget, there was a very nice Yorkshire Terrier being groomed and I’m sure that by the time the job was finished the little fella would looked very adorable. We had a look around the toy department before heading off in search of a cuppa. Eventually we found the tea room, were escorted to a table and served a very refreshing pot of tea, and reasonably priced too. It was soon time to head home, feeling brave herself said that she felt she could manage the walk back to Charing Cross, I altered the route slightly so that we went away from the maddening crowds but it wasn’t long before I realise that I have been in error with my route planning, I have to pretend to not be a genius now and then, and we, meaning herself*, decided that we would get a bus back to the station. After arguing with a ticket machine because it stole our cash and chatting to a nice person who worked for the bus service we were told to get on a bus and they’d sort it. the bus was a little off the mark and we had a twenty minute walk to the station. Eventually we were on a train and heading home, herself is tired and sore after the exertion and my feet are sore, but it has been a good day and nice to have a break from the house and the pups, although we did miss them and were very happy to be welcomed home with wagging tales and happy bouncing. All in all a brilliant day out and I hope that it isn’t too long before we get to do it again, maybe even with some friends.

*ok, I decided on the bus journey, but herself was seriously wilting and I didn’t want to make it any worse for her, plus a bus is cheaper than a taxi and not as direct.

Sometimes I hate technology, I want to punch computers in the face.

Hello my crazy little reader, welcome to my most recent rant.

Part the first; YouTube is ridiculous, well not YouTube itself, just the idiots that post their stupid videos on there and refuse to accept any view that doesn’t follow their own lunatic views, it turns out that one of these morons has blocked me from commenting on his insane drivel, I suspect there are to reasons for this, The first is that I’m an atheist and I’m clearly going to hell, the second is because I use scientific reason to counter his “god says so!” point of view. normally I enjoy arguing with a looney but this particular loon I could quite happily beat to death with his own bible.

part the 2: SELF SERVICE CHECKOUTS! I swear these things hate me, it doesn’t seem to matter which shop I go to all these stupid machines make the drudgery of shopping even more tedious, it’s bad enough that you have to wander around the stupid place avoiding old people and mad chavs who are starting a fight over a t-shirt, then you have to decide if you’re going to go to a checkout with a person operating it and end up talking about the weather and the fact that the large bag of sugar you picked up is a good bargain. Hang on a minute, you find yourself thinking, you work here, where the heck do you shop?  Or do you go to a self service checkout? My experience of this insane creation of a mad scientist who clearly wants to make my shopping experience go from awful to down right DIRE, is always the same;

Tap the start button on the screen.

SSC: Welcome, please scan your first item

BOOP!

SSC, Please place the Item in the bagging area!

so I follow the instructions, to the letter and place the item in the bagging area.

SSC: UNEXPECTED ITEM IN BAGGING AREA!!!!

ME: What? I scanned a tin of beans, you acknowledged the tin of beans and told me to put it there, what were you expecting? a banana?

SSC: Please remove the item!

I remove the tin of beans.

SSC: ITEM REMOVED FROM BAGGING AREA, PLEASE REPLACE THE ITEM!!!

me: but you just told me to remove it because you weren’t expecting it, I make the appropriate I’m getting annoyed noise and put the beans back in the bagging area.

SSC: UNEXPECTED ITEM IN BAGGING AREA, PLEASE REMOVE THE ITEM!

me: of for f…. At this point I move to another machine with my shopping and start again. All goes well until I scan something unusual like for instance a box of cornflakes.

SSC: please key in the items code or look up item!

me: what? it’s a box of cornflakes, you just beeped and it says cornflakes on the screen, why do I need to key in the code? are you aware that I don’t even know where the code is? I’m shopping, not trying to avert World War Three, why the heck do I need a code?

SSC: (sheepishly) please place the item in the bagging area.

me: You did that on purpose, have you been talking to the machine next door? I’m going to punch you in a minute!

It’s at this point that the machines minion appears and asks if I’m ok, I want to say “No! I’m not ok, I just want to buy some beans and cornflakes and go home but this stupid machine’s acting like HAL 4000 and doubtless plotting the machine uprising that we all fear, any second now I’m gonna get a club hammer and beat the living bejeezuss outta the ruttin’ thing and then I’m gonna place it’s cold mechanical heart in the bagging area and see if it was expecting that!” This tirade actually comes out as “Yeah, I’m OK thanks!”

Then I have to pay, this in itself is a challenge, you have to choose between cash or card. Cash is lethal, you have to use either newly minted coins or freshly printed notes. If there’s even the slightest crease in a note the machine won’t take it and if the coin has so much as a microscopic scratch on it the coin will get spat out.

I really hate SSCs, so much so that I have walked away from my shopping and just left it there, or, if I’m in a good mood I’ll go to a manned checkout  and suffer the mind numbing conversation.

It makes me wonder if there’s any other aspect of our daily lives that can be made completely impossible by an automated process.

And now the drought, the local government has decided that we can’t use hosepipes or flush the toilet more than twice a day, the people who do this gardening malarky have to let all their flowers die and people with ponds have to let them dry up and fill them with sand because there’s no water. What has happened since this announcement? It has rained, not April showers type rain, not even an “it’ll pass” type rain, this last few weeks we’ve had what can only be described as torrential downpouring of monsoon like ferocity. I’m not one to stir up malcontent but this current drought isn’t exactly selling global warming to me, it’s the beginning of may and we have the heating on. Drought? Seriously? was this drought declared by the same chap who said the were weapons of mass destruction in Iran?

I was going to stop there but as I was writing this drivel there was a program featuring Robson thingy doing some fishing, he’d just caught a rather impressive Sturgeon, the thing was easily over six feet long, as he was talking about the fish, it’s a big fish, blah blah, it’s really powerful blah blah, he mentioned that the Sturgeon hasn’t changed in over 230 million years. So for so good, but then he blows it completely with the comment “that makes it a living Dinosaur!” NO NO NO NO NO, it’s a fish, operative word “FISH” not even close to being anywhere near a dinosaur, it’s about as close to a dinosaur as I am an apple. I do wish these presenter and their researchers would actually check the information they impart.

Fish are not aerodynamic, they’re streamlined!

Oh for goodness sake

It’s no secret that I like astronomy, I like collecting fossils, I have an interest in the paranormal, I also like a good conspiracy theory. For some strange reason I’ve been viewing a lot of videos on YouTube that claim to show evidence of ancient civilisations on the moon and Mars. The main problem with 98% of these videos is that they all use the same images as the “evidence” for their claims. In my opinion these videos should all be listed under Entertainment or even comedy. All of the images that are claimed to show either organic or artificial objects can also be explained as natural, whether they are lava tubes, craters, or plain and simple rocks. We can see features on earth that whilst being natural in their origins they are nothing more than that. Why is it that when geological features are found off Earth the crazy people scream “cover up” or “conspiracy”? bot the moon and Mars were geologically active in the distant past and evidence of that is being found today. Why? because the imaging technology has improved and we are able to see these features much more clearly. An example of this is the “Face” on Mars. When I was much much younger I saw the Viking 1 images and I was astounded, now that the area has been imaged by MRO with higher resolution cameras it is clear that the “face” is nothing more than a mountain, oh well, no aliens then. Look at the image below, the bottom right image is from Viking 1 the main image is from MRO. I’ll let you decide.

File:Face on Mars with Inset.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve commented on some of the videos, giving my somewhat more rational opinion of these “strange” features, I’m waiting for one of the video owners to message me claiming that I’m part of the conspiracy and involved in the great cover up, should that happen I will reply.

What puzzles me about all these alien civilisation videos is that they all claim that NASA has altered the original images, it that’s the case how did the undoctored images end up on the web? leaked I suppose! My question to all of the folk that believe this utter twaddle is real would be, why would NASA want to conceal it, what could they possibly have to gain from hiding the existence of ancient cities elsewhere in the solar system? in fact how would anybody benefit from withholding such information? The usual response is “they don’t want us to know!” why? I ask, the well thought out reply is generally “because they don’t!”

Well that’s informative, they may just as well have put a “So there!” on the end just to give it more credibility.

So I’m going to answer the questions myself, Is NASA hiding evidence of ancient intelligent life on the moon or on Mars? No! has intelligent life ever existed on the moon? Only when the Apollo astronauts were there. Has life ever existed on Mars? Possibly but only microscopic form, and single celled life can’t build cities.

ta ta!

I see stupid people

Before you read todays entry go take a look at the video below

You need to watch it on YouTube due to copyright laws

 

Now I’m all for freedom of speech and people being entitled to an opinion, therefore the chap* that posted this video is free to express their views as they will, but the information presented in the video isn’t just wrong, I suspect that it may also be utter twaddle. In fact I am so convinced of how stupid this video is I felt I had to reply, you can read my response on the videos YouTube page but because youtube limits the length of each reply I had to make a few comments to get my point across. To make things easier, this was my reply:

The Moon is actually around the same age as Earth, the current Earth/Moon was the result of an impact between two, roughly Mars sized objects about 4.5 billion years ago. There are several rocky satellites orbiting the other planets in our Solar System, The only planets that do not have moons are Venus and Mercury, probably because someone stole them. The “smudged” towers are probably something as simple as damage to the imager or corrupt data. The “cities” that appear to have been erased are craters. The “banding that can be seen in the images at 2:14, 2:17, 2:26 & 2:30 are the result of the creation of photo mosaics of hundreds of images taken by artificial satellites such as the LRO, (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter) Take a look at the LRO website, some of the images show the Apollo landing sites, Yes they were real! We see terrestrial rock formations that can appear to be plant like when the photo is taken from high orbit with low resolution capture devices. We thought that the moon had seas until we learned that those seas are actually Basalt flood plains caused by meteor impact at a time when the Moon was volcanically active, we know that Mars once had a molten core and had volcanoes, Olympus Mons is the remains of the largest volcano in the solar system, those “water filled lakes” are probably cooled lava. The network of tubes that feature in the video appear to be very similar to lava tubes found in Hawaii and many other areas where the is a high level of volcanic activity as for the fossil evidence, as an amateur paleontologist I have found a great many pieces of rock that I have mistaken for actual fossilized remains, only to be corrected by someone more knowledgeable than me. If I can make such a mistake with an object that is in my hand, the eye can be easier fooled by a photo. The “Inca city” appears to be nothing that a geological feature, despite what we’re told at school, straight lines and right angles do occur naturally and quite often. Apologies for the flood of postings on this but YouTube sets a word maximum on posts.

There’s quite a few comments on the page, a lot of them aren’t very polite, some of them are openly offensive not only to the video owner, but also to others that have commented on the video. There’s no need for that really, out of many of the statements made in the video the one that ruins any credibility the video creator had is near the end, NASA & JPL you suck! such a mature turn of phrase.