ABOUT ME

I live in a camper van with a couple of West Highland Terriers for company.
My passion is photography 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
ALL IMAGES WILL ENLARGE WITH A LEFT CLICK

Thursday, 25 February 2021

ADD.

 I think I may have ADD I prefer to think I'm easily bored and have far ranging interests. In any case it can't affect me as I'm nearly seventy one, it's kids letters and a teachers excuse for being tedious.

I was discussing small racing bikes with the haircutter a month back, don't panic, we've formed a bubble. We chat when we want. I said I've been looking at 125cc two strokes and when the boys get older, they are doing kiddy motocross at the moment*, it may be worth building a nice engine for them. Two stroke technology has come on a long way from the Villiers and Lambretta stuff of my youth. The latter engines were for vegans, always popped in scooters that kept the engine behind one so you didn't get dirty or smell. Now Yamaha and Honda were making wonderful reed valve engines a few years later. I thought to pick one up for fifty quid, use the bottom end, clutch basket, gearbox etc. Design or steal the design for an electronic fuel injection system, with a slide throttle to pop on a new cylinder barrel with really posh porting. I'll not bore you here but sealing the piston to the bore is a massive problem. Too large ports and the piston rings disintegrate. The answer could be one silicon ring and a two part piston. The gudgeon pin in the piston and then screw it into an outer smooth slave sleeve with one ring. 

Now the downside, I couldn't believe it, Victor Meldrew eat your heart out. The cheapest Yamaha engine was donkeys years old, well worn and advertised at over a thousand pounds. I surfed t'internet and found some more at silly money. Some of these are almost half a century old.

This looked the best. £1200.00p. I'll get on the bike forums for one that has seized up.

* They did do Kiddy motorcross till the bastard MSM and politicians took a year of their lives away. What for? To save selfish hypochondriacs and the NHS, that's what for. I hope it is, be funny if the WEF had an alternative agenda for the gullible.



Monday, 22 February 2021

NO SNOW AND SNOW DROPS.

 The snow has gone and the Snow Drops are here.


The weather has been mild and warm for a few days now. Lots of people emerging over the weekend to enjoy the start of spring and wandering the forest careless of their health, acting irresponsibly normal, sucking in fresh air, chatting to each other and horror of horrors I saw two teenagers kissing with not a thought for the nasty covids, quite right they were too. Spring is sprung, it's their spring not mine. It will be interesting to see if the destroyers of freedom back down or double down. 
They will try to double down, they have support from state employees who are protected from their own inadequacies by lack of ambition, layer after layer of bureaucracy and they have no financial skin in the matter.

I was rushing back from a bit of work to see my friend's committal, it was being done on-line, badly, it kept dropping out and didn't start again till I hit F5. By then everything had moved on. Been better and cheaper posting it live to YouTube. Jeremy Whine came on the radio so faster than the speed of light I switched to Tay FM. Bugger me! I couldn't believe it. I heard an advert from our NHS saying, I paraphrase. "Please come back if you feel ill." I suspect they may be coming to the realisation that being protected from illness has a downside like redundancy if ones raison d'etre is looking after poorly folk and you think it beneath one. People may be getting wise to the fact that doctors snake oil prescriptions are for the most part more debilitating than their disease. My experience is that the quacks prescribe for muscle cramps, one returns with the shits and they prescribe something for that, you go back with heartburn they prescribe something else and so it goes on if you let it. A salt tablet would have sorted the cramps but they banned those, Being a cynic I suspect one doesn't get a skiing holiday for selling salt. Happen they feel that the tide is turning and want to play nice. I stop away because they are next to useless and I'm passed my sell by date. I have to admit I've got a bit wussy of late so may succumb to their advert if the grim reaper doesn't get me first. I even open the throttle slowly on the big Quad whereas four years ago it was jump on, fire it up, let it warm up, whilst I opened the gate and then Go, Go, Go. I enjoyed the 750cc Quad, selecting first then second and driving down the yard like an idiot, diving out onto the pasture and changing up firing muck everywhere. The downside of such fun is the sheep can't keep up with the feed spreader without rushing which knocks weight off and Quad tyres are £400+ a corner. I'm sensible now.

Be sensible like me it saves expense, hassle, lives and protects our NHS.


Friday, 19 February 2021

42°

 The weather is back to constant rain. Yesterday it was much the same but with welcome gaps when the sun poked through.

A very pretty partial rainbow, with the sun 42° on my right. No chance of this today. Sorry about the oil spots. I forgot to clean either the sensor or the image. 

A good friend died this week so I've been a bit out of sorts even though it has been obvious for a year that he was on the way out. It was an awful, drawn out way to go but fortunately he was able to see his life out at home. The cremation is on Monday so the crematoria seems to be coping fine.

Have a good weekend. 



Tuesday, 16 February 2021

THAW AND SPARKLES.

 It's been a rough few months but all is well now and life goes on.

The following is a short video of lots of sparkly ico-spheres linked together and dancing. 


 It sort of works, I tried doing it using Sverchok Nodes in Blender but couldn't even start the node tree as the particle input node doesn't seem to have any outputs. I have tried these before but all the tutorials are in Russian so not easy to follow. I have come to the conclusion they are for intelligent 3D folk and best left alone. This was done by popping particles on an animated model from Mixamo. It wasn't as easy as I anticipated but I got a result of sorts.

The snow is slowly thawing.

It looks as if this will be the last of it for this year as the long range forecast is for milder weather. I've enjoyed this cool snap.

I found this Canadian lady on YouTube. She can be very funny, not a characteristic I've associated with Canadians before, I've always grouped them with Belgians, nice enough, generally harmless but a bit boring.


Enjoy the rest of the week.



Thursday, 11 February 2021

I GOT A HEATER AND THEN GOT STUCK.

 Yesterday I got my new heater and it's superb, too hot on full heat but I'm perfectly toasty at half throttle.

It measures 7"x 9"x 4" deep, tiny for something that warms the van in minutes. Amazon insist it's a ceramic heater but I can assure you it's plastic. I'm very pleased and a bit overwarm, I'd got used to ice on the windows.
 On the way home I got stuck again and had to walk the last half mile to get the Polaris and a driver. Having failed to make the last brow I'd reversed the car off the road into the pig's gateway and it then fell in a tractor rut. Amazed the little Polaris had the grunt to shift it but it was perfect for the job.
Polaris ruts in first light today. It looks a flimsy machine but is lovely to drive and will go almost anywhere. It's a street better than the Mule it replaced, nasty thing that was and it spent more time on the vehicle lift than it did working.

This morning having little to do I decided to see if the burn had frozen, it hadn't which means I'll have to have another trip down tomorrow. Not to worry the dogs aren't bothered where we go. I took the camera and got a few snaps.
Icicles on the van and not a cloud in the sky.
Eros and his companion. Their hay is down by the gate but if he stands up there he can see the rest of his herd. There are about fifteen Highland ponies and they are all characters. Eros is the exception as he's a right little bugger. All stallions have a tendency to bite but he is amazing. I have never seen a horse open it's mouth as wide as he can. He has bitten folk but doesn't if you tell him to give up then reinforce the command with a slap and a special word or two.
The road is ploughed as we did it yesterday. It now needs the Highways to give it some de-icer and then I can get both out and back. My winter tyres aren't in the first flush of youth but I was hoping they'd last this winter out, they will if it warms up as forecast on Sunday and doesn't get cold again. One of the many disadvantages of getting old is adding up whether or not one will get value out of a set of tyres. I may just swap the back ones to the front and the front to the back, that should do the trick for this year.

Centre foreground is the burn before it goes into the big hole. I bet there are some great icicles down there but I'm too old to risk going down and not being able to get back up.
A pathetic bit of ice but it has reminded me to dig some Cadis Fly larvae out for a photo opportunity come spring.

That's more than enough for today. Keep safe. 







Tuesday, 9 February 2021

SNAPPY.

 This is exciting, we have a sufficiency of snow and it looks as if it'll be here for a while. The Highways have ploughed and gritted the glen for which they deserve due praise. Unfortunately they did it first thing before the heavy snow started so it's filled in again. Next we will hear is that they've run out of salt and grit. Not that the salt does anything in really cold weather. I seem to recall that at < -5°C they should use urea but now that is all used up making Add-Blue to stop global warming.

I cleared the car off about ten anticipating a run to Kinross but I suspect my parcel is still in the DPD van as it's not been delivered yet. Lunchtime I dug the car out and cleared a track down to the yard. I cheated and used the Tele-Loader my days of shovelling vast amounts of snow are over.

Here are a few snaps.

Snow, snowing on a Eucalyptus tree.
The dogs returning from an expedition. I've no idea where they'd been but they like to check everything is still where it should be.
A bright spell.

The car was about ready to roll but It's now snowed in again. Not to worry I can always start again in the morning.

This has the makings of a proper winter, the ones where one started running out of places to pile snow. As you can probably tell the novelty hasn't started to wear thin yet. Give it another week and I can see special words being uttered at the sight of a snowflake.

I'll leave you with a picture of a power mad idiot.

So stupid he doesn't realise she's gone, not to worry he looks to be enjoying himself.

Have fun.

 

Monday, 8 February 2021

COLD.

 This morning I dug out an infrared heater as the temperature is forecast to drop to minus silly degrees in a couple of days, needless to say it is broken and I can't find anything obviously wrong. I decided to have a run into Cupar to get one of those ceramic heaters with a blower. The electrical shop is shut and Tesco only had a small aircon unit....I suspect they'll have that for a while. I came back and ordered one from Amazon, I debated whether to have it delivered here or to the stables and as heavy snow is forecast decided on the latter. If the glen road is shut or even looks a bit white the delivery folk take the package back to either Dundee or worse Dunfermline.

The roads this morning were lethal, melt water running off the fields into clogged ditches had flowed over the road and frozen. To add to the joys of life it had then snowed on top of the ice. At nine thirty nothing seemed to have been gritted but that is the norm these days. I did pass a Gritter on my way back but he was doing the A91 and didn't divert to give Muchty a sprinkle. I struggled to complete the last half mile home but succeeded which is all that matters.

It has been showery all day with beautiful sunny spells.
The glen this morning, it looks great.

The snow seems to have settled in now and the wind is blowing it about. I can see me having to manage with the heat I've got as unless the Highways decide to salt, this road will be impassable. 
 Not to worry I'm supposed to stop in anyway.


Sunday, 7 February 2021

NOT AS EXCITING AS I HOPED.

 After many false starts I managed to get a result. Not the result I strived for but I hope it will do the job. People say it's the thought that counts but this could have done with someone who is better equipped for thinking.

 As a primary school teacher once enquired. 

"Ward do you want to end up a binman?" 

I thought that a bit harsh as the lad sitting behind me had a dad who was a binman, a binman with a stump for a foot as his real one got blown off in the war. We had the last laugh as he was sacked a couple of years later for tampering with little girls. Dirty sod. He tried to brazen it out but had to move as kids from four to fourteen were inviting him to the park swings, saying we'll round up the little ones for you. We had a curate of the same ilk but he gassed himself in the church hall oven one afternoon and worse still it was Brownie night, little Christian consideration shown there, he could have waited a day for Cub night as he was a menace to little boys. Biden is far from alone.

Here is the balloon video, warts and all.


After a couple of days of middling rain it is now back to winter. Very little snow so far but I can see it getting worse as it is freezing out and there are gallons of water bubbling up everywhere.

The observant may notice little orange flags in the wet bits. There are field drains here but they are either flattened or blocked. They need a coat of looking at before this is ploughed, though if the Neeps grow again in the spring the sheep will be back on and the flags lost.


She deserves a cigarette break having singlehandedly solved global warming, at least round here.

 Sovereignty seems to be working reasonably, shops are well stocked, plenty of cars for sale, lots of hospital beds available for those that want one, tobacco is still far too expensive but one can't have everything all at once. We are getting a new deep coal mine in Cumbria which lefties seem to think abhorrent. I can understand that as Wilson shut a hundred more mines in five years than Thatcher did in ten. Who do the hard of thinking blame? Not Wilson. Not to worry, you can't argue with stupid. Have a great week.


Thursday, 4 February 2021

GRADIENTS.

 What an awful weather day. It started off near freezing and sleeting and gradually the sleet turned to rain and became torrential.....not quite but it is heavy. Strangely it doesn't seem to be washing much snow away though the roads are clear. Clear if one disregards all the giant puddles hiding craters caused by cheapo repairs. Lethal our roads are, councils and the Highways never seem to think of putting furloughed staff into patching roads. Come to think they aren't furloughed, they are sitting at home on full wages. So much for we are all in this together. 

This morning I went to the animal feed place but the stables hadn't put their order in, idle buggers. I got dog food, carried on to the horses and having got them to phone the order in reversed direction and filled up with horse breakfasts. Glad I did as I met a Weegie lass I love and hadn't seen for a while. She filled me up to the brim with all the local gossip. There is a language barrier with Beth, I have to keep asking her to speak English, she then puts on what she thinks is a posh English accent and speaks really slowly. The lad loading her truck and listening in was incapable of sensible forklift driving for laughing. The Fife accent is strong but Weegie is akin to Hottentot. There was only one bit of disturbing news. It concerned a school friend of her daughters, I thought the wee girl was ten but she is now sixteen. Time flies by when you get old. She has a friend who has been very depressed and cutting herself. I thought nutter but then thought back to the time I was that age and realised that school, rugby, horses, motorbikes and village dances were very important, I hated school but looked forward to seeing folk my own age. The village dances were a war zone but fun, taught us to discriminate between normal folk and those born three miles away. Time, when one is young is expanded as learning is easy, it depends on peer relationships and other human contact. We old folk tend to forget that a year to them is akin to ten years to retired people. 

This nonsense over flu or what used to be flu has gone on for too long. Flu kills every winter, the NHS is full to capacity every winter. Not this winter, I heard an expert on Radio 4 say that one in nine hospital's intensive care units were at full capacity. That means there's room in eight but it's how they tell them. Folk that support this nonsense should stop thinking death can't apply to them and start thinking of the young folk, it doesn't matter a jot if an individual dies, it's part and parcel of life.

I called to chat with a friend who is dying from brain cancer and it shouldn't be long now as he confuses his commode with everything from his old car to his shoes. He's still at home so that's a blessing. He's not blind in his left eye but it doesn't seem to send sensible instructions anymore, he needs a patch on it as he can't really work his feet to walk or his hands to eat. If I help him move by popping my shoulder under is left armpit he thinks my right hand is pressing on the same side. I have learnt to support him from the front and ignore the dribble.  Terrible it is but we do have some very amusing conversations. He is still lucid for two minutes at a time. It's not nice but I can't help thinking a magic mushroom would help both of us cope. 

I used to play non-stop in Photoshop but am having trouble making an image to project around the balloon. I have got this far but would like it to be sharper.

I started with this but as you can imagine when it's 3D unwrapped one gets a hard line between the blue and green.

I then did this, which is better as I cropped the image laterally to get rid of too much blue.

It will do for a balloon.

This is it mapped onto a balloon. I think a cheat is on order to feather the blue edges. I could reverse the spectrum as I think the text would look better on the blue bit and make sure that when the animation is filmed the line doesn't come into camera.

Now for something silly.

The car looking silly. It's converted to B&W then has a gradient dropped on. A bit of masking and this could look good and not stupid. 

Have fun. I notice that one or two Bloggers are discussing Bubbles. I always invent my own which I suspect they do. Am I supposed to register a Bubble with the Buzzies? Can I just swap them about between some totty I fancy and the dying that need someone? I guess so, until we have enough snitches to support the police who is going to know.
 Good luck with the vaccine, I see we are now into Myxomavaccine. Anyone taking this shit deserves to die if they are compos mentas, drug companies and their dealers are evil. It does terrible things to Rabbits does Myxomatosis.




Monday, 1 February 2021

HAY SEEDS.

 It's been a funny few days. Saturday I felt dog rough and worse after work, thought I may be going down with Man Flu. Felt  so terrible I almost broached the Talisker and Manuka honey to wash down a couple of 50mg dihydrocodeine. I was good and had a hot chocolate and a load of Ibuprofen. I'll save the morphiate stuff for later, dihydrocodeine is great but hard to get hold of, it's cheap and doctors don't earn commission on it. Sunday I wasn't up to much and walking the dogs was an effort. I woke this morning full of the joys of spring and set off to see the horses. We seem to be in a stable weather pattern at the moment, we get a sprinkle of snow at night and it's dry with some sunshine during the day. I can live with this weather.

Once I hit the 'B' Road to Newburgh things improve dramatically, this only lasts for a couple of miles, if that, and it's fine going down hill. I like an optimist and bothering to wheel the tin and plastic bin to the road in this weather is the epitome of positive thinking. This is Ian's bin, I was going to call and wheel it for him as he can't walk. He went on a healthy cycling trip to Holland and rode into a canal and since then he's been very grumpy and confined to a small electric Quad. If I'd wobbled off a push bike into a canal and been run over by a barge I'd have a proper Quad and bugger the Green nonsense. He's obviously a grumpy man with principles and a fat, stroppy German wife. We have three bins now so I'm thinking of making a tow bar with hooks on to enable three bins to be taken down at once. I'll tow them with the Quad. Get the job done quick sticks.
This is steeper than it looks, the Highways have now filled the salt bins, better late than never. The bin you can see on the left of the road had been squashed and they have replaced it. It's eye opening to watch them work. First we had a man in a little van who was trying to find the bin flattener, I suspect folk blamed DPD or the Morrison's delivery van, could have been Iceland or Tesco.  A week later we had a 30cwt pickup with two men to drop the new to the glen bin off and take the flattened one away. Three days later the Gritter arrived and tipped a pile of salt. How the salt got from the road and into the bin is a mystery. The glen is sparsely populated but folk don't usually miss much, if anything, they missed the salt being shifted into the bin or forgot to tell me the saga.

I'm having a wonderful time in Blender, the next two birthdays are for folk with a three letter name so I thought I'd make a balloon with their name on, inflate it and pop it. As usual I have a fall back video and the way this is going I may need it.

This looks okay but won't animate properly, it also has nasty creases in the top. This is easy to write on as it's a UV sphere and all Blender primitives are UV unwrapped. This is near enough to a sphere for their mapping to work. The colour and text are done in Photoshop but any image editor can do this, it's simply a square image.
White with the text on.


This is modelled completely differently. It starts of as a cube and looks much better. but it has to be unwrapped. I am useless at unwrapping but got by in middling style this time.  I now have to solve the problem of having a crumpled up balloon and a fully inflated one. At the moment it sticks where it is in the second image and starts where it is in the first image. I could fake the fully inflated one as it starts off as I modelled it but I want the empty balloon look.
Good enough for video and a tidy bit of UV unwrapping. I must do more of it but there is so much to play with in Blender. The bottom stroke on the 'L' is a bit odd but not to worry, I think it must be lying across one of my marked seams. I'll shift stuff about a bit.

I was going to ask why Von de Lying is still in a job, how she got the job is a post on it's own but a funny thing happened at the horses. 
The paddocks are all snowed up and the horses are naughtier and more playful in snow. It takes twice as long to muck out working round a horse than it does to clear and bed the same loose box empty. I thought to take one out, tether him to the wall and do the job and pop him back in. He thought he was away to roll in snow and bite and rip his friend's rug to bits. He was well poked off. Whinnying, pawing the yard and generally making my life a misery with his racket, plus he was setting the other seven off. I went out to remonstrate using my special words and he cuddled up, it was the full works blowing in my ears and nuzzling. Please let me out to play. Just goes to show that bad words overused are ignored by animals. Only posh horsey women get offended when I'm the one using them whilst loading their spoilt buggers into a truck. The horses are used to it and couldn't give a....It starts with an 'F' and rhymes with truck.
It is good to see them enjoying the snow but it can get out of hand and if they overdo things there is a vets bill or a horse having to be shot. I washed my ears out on Sunday but realised I was hard of hearing on the way home. So hard of hearing I didn't realise for ten minutes that I was listening to that tosser Vine, I listen to the bloke that does the pop quiz on Radio 2 and Whine sneaks in straight after if one is slow switching to Tay FM or Classic FM. The tinker Bramble had been blowing hay seeds in my ears, dozens of them. Friday it's a flogging with red hot rusty barbed wire for him. 

Have fun.