I live in a camper van with a West Highland Terrier for company.
My passion is creating images but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN

Monday 31 August 2020


 I heard this morning that today is the last day for a half price meal.  Now I recognise that though the government claim credit for financing this benevolence it is us that are paying and not MPs or civil servants dipping in their pockets to treat me.

It was a bit of a rigmarole. A notice on the pub door said masks must be worn, I walked in and a gentleman guided us to our table and said you can remove your masks now.........Oh!.... I said we are exempt due to lots of things I can neither understand or spell. He said instructions are printed on a card on the table. First I had to contact them on their face book account, give my table number, in due course they would send a menu and then we pick what we would like to eat. First problem I don't have a Facebook account nor did I have my phone or computer with me. It's just not the thing to carry when one is going out to dine. My companion said what are we going to do? Don't worry it's easy. I accosted a very pleasant young lady who was delivering food to the table ten yards away or next door as they used to say, explained our lack of Farcebook and she took our order with customary efficiency. She also scribbled down our contact details so they now have another Mr Trump and a Mr Putin c/o Holyrood Palace. As she left she said why do you always have fish and chips? I didn't recognise her with her burgling mask on, she is the horse vet's assistant in her university holidays. We had a couple of haddock and chips, a pint of beer and a fizzy water. I daren't drink and drive in Scotland. I asked her where to pay and she said at the bar just like normal.........It's madness but worth suffering a bit as the total bill was only £14.25p. I'm also happy that I didn't have to communicate digitally as folk who were already seated when we arrived were still awaiting food when we left. Pound to a penny the internet was overwhelmed with folk ordering Haddock and chips using the same Donalds and Vladimirs as Leur noms pour le poisson et frites.

Had a rake in the archives for something to post and found this from a while ago.

Great Pied Hoverfly. A very smart little beast.

And here to start the working week.

Keep smiling and fight back when you can.

Friday 28 August 2020


 I have about sorted the manifold business in FreeCAD. It has taken several hours but I feel much more confident now. 

It would be interesting to measure up an actual engine and see how long it takes to create something like this.  I suspect about two hours assuming I don't foul up along the way.

Have a good weekend and remember to obey today's rules. No drinking without a mask, sign in and out at the bus stop or when filling up with petrol. I'm sure I've missed dozens of mandates but just do your best.

Wednesday 26 August 2020


Dear Graham,

I feel old tonight. I had seven horses and a pony to deal with this morning. I like horses, they are amiable rock apes, give or take their quirks but that is what you need for vaulting. Kind to children but thinking beasts.

Horses are generally a bit dim, ponies are fifty percent brighter, that's why they keep a pony. Trouble is he only teaches them bad things like undoing gates and head collars. I too like to extend the horses mental capacity by teaching them games. The best one is to lie down on the ground and cover ones eyes. Even if they have been bucking and arseing about something rotten they approach nuzzling to see if they have done damage, I then jump up and shout Whooo! They never fall for it twice and listen harder. 

The groom was careless yesterday and got her foot trod on. Stupid girl. To be honest the foot looked little different to mine but she insists it really hurts. Guess I'll be on feeding, leading and mucking out duty tomorrow. I would sack her but with all this Batflu nonsense she would probably insist on working from home. Home is a flat she gets from my sister who is now a full time carer. My brother-in-law was operated on for a brain tumour. That's as far as it went. The NHS stopped all follow up treatment and more importantly chatting or counselling as they call it. His GP is useless, can only be contacted by phone. The tablets she prescribed gave him the runs....Adrian sorted that, dioralyte to drink and toasted bread with banana for two to five days. Bloody doctors, were they not state employed they wouldn't be arseing about over a flu virus they don't understand. They would be working to solve all the other peripheral ailments. Lazy incompetent bastards for the most part. 

I will not wear a mask, I walk into the shops as I have done since this farce started and if challenged tell folk I've got emphysema caused by my love of tobacco and I'm off to get some rollup stuff and messages for folk that have been frightened into not going out. Never have a problem.

All the best A.

Tuesday 25 August 2020


 It is a fortnight less eight hours since the last inundation. I'm not sure whom or what to blame but it seems that these days it can't just be weather. I am tempted to settle for Greta Thunderpants, she has been very quiet lately. Happen she has found a boyfriend and has lost interest in putting the weather to rights.

Here is a snap of all the water.

This was shot with a 24mm lens but the effect has been exaggerated whilst straightening the verticals. It's a very smart tilt/shift lens so had it been dry I could have spent the time and dialled out the lens distortion. I could also have done it in Photoshop but that would be cheating. This is PS so I suppose it is a bit cheating.

In other news Alf has a nasty boil looking thing on his back leg. It's not hot and not painful. I'm doing it twice a day with some posh horse disinfectant and Flamazine. If it's not better soon I will go to the vet. The problem with my vets is that either of the Michelles are fine, the big Irish lad is middling but the other girl is pretty useless and they all cost the same. Come to think they don't as the useless one necessitates two trips and without one hell of a row two lots of fees. The doctor costs much the same but at least you can pick ones doctor so don't have to pay for a numpty.

I'm still persevering with FreeCAD and not doing very well. I am getting there very slowly by using my usual tactic of clicking away until it does what I want then trying to replicate the clicks for another successful outcome. It's all good fun but of little interest to anyone here.

A couple of months ago I was waiting to check out in Aldi and noticed these mints.  They cost a penny shy of a pound and the little tin box they come in is beautiful. I enjoy the odd one and the horses do too. It's annoying me that I haven't  found a use for the empty tins.....They are far too good to bin.

Looks as if my card reader could do with a polish, the mouse mat isn't looking pristine either.

That's all for today.

Wednesday 19 August 2020


 This morning I had a run into Cupar; I was a little late leaving as I was trying to understand an email regarding a clunk on a tractor. I enjoy getting paid for advice but hate to commit myself to serious graft. Trouble is with tractors they are always owned by farmers and farmers are noted for being loath to pay for anything that doesn't involve blood and sweat. Advice is assumed to be free and the chance of a consultancy fee is zilch. I'm going to have a look and with a bit of luck fix it tomorrow. How do folk get paid for call out and then doing bugger all? The easy and obvious answer is to work for the state or big conglomerates. I suspect that is where we are heading. 

I passed the bus stop at the back of eight and all the children were waiting for the bus, all social distancing....Like hell they were, all crowded in groups maskless, pushing and shoving round someone with a mobile who had found a scintillating video explaining some mathematical obscurity like two minuses make a plus. More likely porn or hopefully music. Horrified I was.

 If children know the Batflu is bollocks then for once they may be right. I suspect the whole world knows and it's just another scare tactic by those in favour of the New World Order and state employees who assume they will get paid whatever. I believe that folk ought to consider their own ignorance. Burst pipes and wiring are easy. Over complicated technology based consumer items should be repairable and are for the most part but you have to keep on top of all the latest shenanigans of big business.  

On a brighter note I did get six thickish pork chops in Lidl for £3.46p and their thick cut marmalade is now only £0.49p a jar. Now six pork chops are far too many for one. I've done four and will pop them in a soured cream and mushroom sauce. Had to buy the mushrooms as on our first walk the puffballs were too small and despite my liking their peppery taste they give me the runs and stomach cramps. Ceps are just starting but the blasted slugs always beat me to them, they are solid but have little taste. This will do me a couple of days and the dogs can have the other two chops should they start stinking.

I don't bother voting for anybody. Anyone who wants power via a ballot is very suspect and until proven otherwise crooked. Be interesting to see statistics on elected members who have been found to be felons viz a viz the norm. 

I hope I am sorting Freecad, I can now make the spline do things in 3D in the Draft Workbench. Start in top view then when you want the other axis press Shift 'Z'. It will take me a while for me to make it do what I want or anything remotely sensible. It is a mind blowing minefield. Blender and OneShape can do certain bits better and I may end up exporting/importing files. That would be cheating. I will keep plugging away. I do think that most folk would want a start and endpoint and the ability to construct stuff betwixt the two. Perhaps it can, there is loads of stuff I haven't clicked on.

Have fun with whatever rocks your boat.

Monday 17 August 2020


 This is all about FreeCAD and my lack of expertise with it. I managed to make the four into one adaptor and that appears to be the easy bit. I have tried all sorts of cunning tricks to make the header pipes wander about exactly where I would like them to meander. I don't want to use curves or a spline which are basically different words for the same thing as it is really hard to control their dimensions and even harder to create them physically. 

To manufacture curves is a bit of a bugger. You have two choices, you can pie cut tube and weld together which done well looks very posh or you can cut out the shape as two matching flat pieces of metal weld the seams together and pump them to shape with oil. I used to know a bloke that made superb two-stroke exhausts using hydraulic forming and a lot of expertise.

I am slowly getting to grips with FreeCAD and do find any 3D stuff entertaining. I thought the Draft Workbench was a 2D facility and a clunky one at that. I then noticed as you sketched with it co-ordinates appeared and you can enter the line or wire endpoints, curve the corners and it also gives one the total wire length. More importantly it has a box where one can type in the dimension for the third axis. I think I'm halfway towards making it do what I want.

This is a simple one. Now all I have to do is remember what I clicked. There are many clicks and they have to be in the right order. This is the first bit of pipe that worked. I have indicated the wire which is the Draft bit. 

This is the complete header to tailpipe joint. 

I expect to get a few weeks of fun with this and that is before I do the gas flow simulation which will probably be totally irrelevant as exhaust gasses come in pulses on an internal combustion engine and I doubt the algorithm can cope with those or if it can can I.  

Saturday 15 August 2020


 I really didn't like yesterdays effort so spent ages last night working out a smoother four into one joint. I then found a tutorial which helped if I ran it at quarter speed. I have ended up following it letter for letter or click for click.

Here is the tutorial:- METAL BUG PROJECTS

This is what it produces.

There will be four of these but there could be any number to suit the application.

Here it is half assembled so you can see inside.

Nothing else to report apart from a haircut appointment for lunch time on Thursday. Not sure I want it cutting after all this time but I enjoy a bit of craic with the cutter.

That's all for today.

Friday 14 August 2020


 Its a warm and misty morning. Before I get onto the skills or in my case lack thereof I'll share a few snaps of murky things.

The Neeps are showing well.

It appears we have a very large Mole.

The barley has survived the storm.

Now to the lack of skills. A short while ago I started playing with the stress analysis thingy in FreeCAD. I thought if I made an exhaust manifold then I could run a thermal and mechanical test. I then got distracted and started thinking of an equal length pipe system. Constructing any sort of system is a challenge. There are few tutorials for FreeCAD and many of the ones out there are next to useless. It's a matter of clicking things and waiting to see what happens. 

This is one of four header pipes with the head flange. The idea is that one starts with the longest and then using the same length of pipe put extra bends in until you get to the shortest. The old way of doing it was to use a piece of 1/8" malleable wire bend it to suit then using the same wire do the other three. Then you bend, cut, chop and weld until you have your pipes that hopefully fit. This pipe is swept along a spline and there is no way to constrain the length of a spline.....It's not how they work; should anyone know differently then I'll be delighted to know.

This is the four into one whatsit.

It would do the job but I have an idea for another version that would give a cleaner flow. That's another thing that FEM can do. I can see this keeping me amused for several hours yet.

It appears the Batflu death statistics are grossly exaggerated. Who would have thought it? It's a good job those responsible work for government as they wouldn't last a week in the private sector. Useless tossers.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday 12 August 2020


 Last night I experienced the biggest thunder storm I have ever seen whilst on land. The rain started about 2000hrs on Tuesday, in the distance I could hear distant thunder. It got closer and closer, the rain got heavier and heavier. The thunder was rocking the van, the dogs enjoy thunder and lightning, I'm glad they do but six hours of them enthusing over it does get a bit tiresome. So enthralled were they that even my special words had but a temporary effect.

I did consider setting a camera up but there were very few ground strikes, the cameras were in the car and I couldn't be arsed going for them. At the back of eight the sun came out and it has been scorchio ever since. I kept getting power cuts and the internet is only just back on. Here are a few snaps from today.

This field looks bad as it was sprayed a couple of weeks ago and has now been seeded with Neeps. They are a big yellow turnip known as a Swede in England. They will be lifted a row or two at a time and left for sheep to forage on.
Reflection in a puddle.
Molly wending her way home.

The dogs doing their best to reduce the inundation.

We are fine, non of us got electrocuted. The schools went back today but there were lots of children wandering up the road at coffee time. Either they had forgotten where the school is, the rain had got into it or a case of Batflu had been located.

Have fun. 

Wednesday 5 August 2020


"I Don't Believe  It." Was the catch phrase of Victor Meldrew years and years ago. Can you remember those times when television was worth watching? 
I have been impersonating Victor for six hours with added expletives. It's my own fault as I don't like paying for software and am too thick to understand the error messages that can and do crop up in free stuff.
 I never got as far as doing a stress analysis on the Tensegrity table as the designer sacked me. I have never used FEM stuff so thought I would give it a whirl........... I wished I hadn't. Now I'm glad I did as it works. It was my version of FreeCAD that was at fault. I nipped down to the Co-Op for a bottle of wine about fiveish to help my tea go down and on the way back thought I'll try uninstalling the little bugger and downloading a current version. I did try to reload the software but FreeCAD won't let you install over a loaded version. Blender does but these wiz kids will go to endless lengths to make life difficult for geriatric hopefuls like me. Half an hour later FreeCAD works like a dream. I wish I was better at this malarkey, I looked for advice online and got more and more confused as I can't understand half what script writers advocate. My fault not theirs as although they cuckooed in the first place they did put matters right. I am happier in Blender as I have had more practise and recognise when it's them and when it's me being thick.

Here is twenty minutes modelling and FEMing.

 This is just a square steel section. It's anchored on it's right face and load is being applied to the pad on the left. This is a fifty millimetre square section with the corners knocked off and a force of 50 Newtons applied to the pad as a static load...That's about 5kg...Bit less.

What Ho! It's working. As one would expect 5kg on a two inch square piece of steel doesn't do anything very much but when I up the factor it gets brilliant.

Maybe not brilliant but at least the little tinker moves.

I'll try and think of other things to do with FEM. I'll happen make a video. Bet you can't wait.
It is quite easy to stress test models once one has the job to rights. The computer does all the heavy maths automatically. When I think back to my days at Sheffield Poly and what they let us use slide rules for and what they wouldn't. Bloody sadists they were. FEM is real magic you split ones model into a triangular mesh or little bits. The little bits have to be triangular for FEM. With calculus it is possible to work out the force on two points of a triangle if you know the force on the third...Cunning buggers are mathematicians. If you are interested then this WIKI ARTICLE explains most of it. I have to admit I haven't tried to understand anything but the basics and then only because FreeCAD was being a twat.
I find it wonderful that this sort of computing power is available on a Knackered Laptop.
Before I go here is a message for all.
Have fun.

Have fun. 

Tuesday 4 August 2020


I have concluded the Tensegrity Table...........I hope. It's not turned out well but as I said to the budding designer, that's life. It started out as a cast structure but that was totally out of court on cost grounds alone. Plasma cutting would be cheapish but then you have to factor in a lot of time with grinders and linnishers. Laser cutting is the answer but for a one off is expensive. I then had the thought of using maleable iron pipe. You can order it cut and threaded to length, Elbows and 'T' pieces are off the shelf as are small eyes that can be welded to it to take the tension wires. One can also get the bolt together handrail systems but apart from seeing them in swimming pools and supermarket carparks I have no experience of them.
This is what I came up with.
I haven't shown the wires but as it was greeted with some disdain I decided it wasn't worth the effort. Apparently it looks far too utilitarian and my colouring it gold didn't alter this opinion. That's Arty farty folk for you. It's been interesting as I had never heard of Tensegrity structures. I did this in Blender as I'm much faster in it. I can also scale it any which way but it still looks industrial. I guess that is why god invented artists. I have suggested having it constructed in wood so with a bit of luck she'll bugger off and annoy a joiner.
Have fun.

Sunday 2 August 2020


2/8/20.....Which must mean it's Owl Day. 
I have been out looking for insects and not found anything to snap. Plenty of common stuff about but nothing to warrant posting. I have a couple of plants.

This is Redshank, it is very wet but does have a couple of tiny insects. I know little about plants but can tell this one and confirm it's ID by the arrow shaped stain on it's leaf.

The next one I identify as Whitlow Grass. It has minute flowers and I thought it ought to have been and gone by now but there is lots of it about.
Maybe it has always been here in August but I can't say I've noticed it before The flowers are very tiny, possibly the smallest flower in Scotland.

This one is Tansy. No it isn't it's Pineapple weed, Matricaria discoidea. Thank you Trevor.

I have always assumed it was a baby Ragwort but I'm possibly mistaken. That's about it for today.
Have a good week.