Friday, June 30, 2006

Environmentally Un-freindly

You know all those leaflets in magazines that lots of people empty out on the new agent shelves. I recently bought a magazine and managed somehow to keep all the leaflets in it.
Well on the way home from the office today the weather was, and stil is, sunny and hot. I had both windows open fully along with the sunroof. I don't have aircon.
As I drove down a long stretch of dual carriageway at about 60mph with the said magazine on the front seat (no I was not reading it while driving) the pages started to flutter open and closed, then suddenly all of the little leaflets jumped out of the magazine into the air and out of the window!

It was as if I'd leafed through, found them all and chucked them out of the passenger window myself. There was quite a bit of traffic around and as I was travelling reasonably fast I did not attempt to stop and pick them up.

I just hope no one has reported me for littering the highway! It wasn't me officer, it was the wind, HONEST!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Regatta Finery

Changed from my work suit into some casual cloths and thought I looked reasonably smart, I wandered through town on my way to the allotment. As I got further towards the river I felt less and less smart to the point where I felt really scruffy compared to the people leaving the clubs along the river.
They'd all been to a Regatta Day and of course were dresses in their finery. Men in cream trousers and brightly cloroued blazers and the women in bright summer dresses.

Obviously they'd all had a very good time with some over indulging in Pims. The town is very busy at the moment with traffic jams all day and roads closed to make way for the Regatta.


Yesterday evening I spent a while down at the allotment doing a little digging and watering of plants. We have been given some cabbages from another allotment because they were "thinning out" their crop. We now have a bed of 50 cabbages.

On average we eat about 1 a week so that's a full years supply of cabbage for free!

I've always wanted to get a years supply of something for free. This is just like winning a competition. ;-)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Saturday before Regatta Week

Today we've been out for a bit of a walk around town and along the river. Lots of activity on the river with rowers practising and being shouted at through megaphones by men on bicycles on the foot path.

Cycling and shouting through a megaphone looks quite a skilful job, especially while you're looking at the boats on the river and trying to miss all the people out walking. Something is bound to go wrong at some point!

Took a few photos and we bought a couple of items of clothing. Here's the new hat I chose for Wendy.

Henley Week

It's Henley Regatta this week so I'm out today to take some pics of the build up and I'll be trying to get home early every day so that I can get some of the later afternoon action on the races. They go on 'til 7 O'Clock I think.

New Suit

I've decided to buy a new business suit this week. Dark pin stripe and I'll be getting some new shirts too. I'll post pictures of me in new suit when I've got it. It'll take a while because I'll have the suite and shirts altered to fit me. All cloths like this seem to be made with abnormally long legs and arms. I winder why the manufacturers waste so much material?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Beer & Curry

After sitting through several presentations from and presenting to the team at work, I was invited to have an early evening beer at a local pub.

After some interesting conversations about a number of things some of the group, including me, moved on to the local Curry House.

An enjoyable evening, made more so because some one else paid!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Lens testing

i've been troubled about the quality of some of my picture and was recommended by Alex to do some tests on the lens I was concerned about.
I have the Canon 70 to 300 IS USm zoom which I've been reading about today. Seems that some of them have a problem with soft edges when your shooting in portrait (lens tipped on its side)

I thought while I'm testing I'll compare some of the shots with the 24 to 105mm canon IS USM L series I got with the camera kit.

What an eye opener. No pun intended.

Clearly the quality of the L series lens shines through b ut the tests were inconclusive. I was in a rush to do them so not enough care taken. One thing I din find out is that my 70-300 does not have the blurring problem in portrait mode.

All the images (12 in all) 3 each in portrait and landscape from both lenses at various zoom levels.
24, 70 & 105 then 70, c200 & 300

I'll run the tests again in a more controlled environment AND on a tripod and post the results.

Now I've read up on lenses though and seen the difference the L series makes I like one of those swanky white pro lenses. 28 to 300 L series IS USM. What a beauty!!!


A long wait it is then :(

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Other stuff from our trip to Brighton

Brighton Lights
The inscription at the top of these lights say "In Deo Fidemus"

Resting Boat from Shoreham

Wine and Olives

Didn't we have a lovely time! or Day at the Seaside

Free Spirit or Masts at Brighton

People in Brighton

Wendy posing for these and having fun!

Peter, Just finished work and been shopping...

Steve just before his first drink of the day and before the 4 hour walk along the sea front

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Easy as A-B-C

Some of you may know that I went on a training day on Monday this week on how to deal with the media. Not that I ever have to but I thought it might help me to deal with those difficult questions I'm faced with more and more these days.

One of the techniques is ABC
Answer / Acknowledge the question
Bridge to what you want to say
Content of your message

Guess what, I had an opportunity to practice ABC on Tuesday afternoon.
So during a meeting I'd advised my managers that there needs to be a consultation period for staff moves. I didn't have any detail on it apart from it needs to be 30 days.

Conversation goes on and they tart to press me for the details like What type of consultation, What happens if they don't want to move.
Then I dropped into ABC mode and said:
I understand why you're asking that (thats the A)
But the main point here is (thats the B)
There is a consultation period and we have to deal with it. (thats the C)

Somehow they accepted that and moved on. I don't really understand this. I didn't answer the question but they were happy!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Three of a Kind

I preparing for the Photo club competitions. Here's my idea for the Three of a Kind competition:

Saturday, June 10, 2006


Well we've been out almost every evening this week tending to the new allotment. A borrowed petrol strimmer worked well on the 3 foot high overgrown grass and weeds.

It's taken all week to get the weeds cut down and now we've started digging up the beds and pulling out the weeds that are left. Many small potatoes have been found. Not big enough to do anything with as they're about the size of 2 peas.

I'm not used to the manual work these days so my back is suffering a bit and my arms ache a bit too. Poor me!

I spotted the first red fruit on the Strawberry plants today while I was strimming. I was so excited I managed to strim the top off the Asparagus plant nearby DOH! Still I did only get one of the Asparagus so not too bad.

I'm now waiting for the England match to start and thinking about a nice cool beer.

Well, that thought has the better of me, I'm off to get a beer.

Family History

I've joined in the Counsell/Council DNA project organised by Theresa Council Longley. There are now 7 members of the project group. The projects aim is to tie together connected DNA from any male with the surname Counsell and derivatives.

I had a email from Theresa today enquiring about some information kept at Wells Museum in Somerset. Apparently a John Counsell (1597) married a neice of Sir Francis Drake and there is information in the museum confirming it.

This family history is weird, I have this notion that if you go far enough back we'll all connected somehow. Just think of going back say 6 generations and finding that you have the same Great.G.G.G.G.G.Grand Parents as you wife. As I say Weird.
I've not found this but it is a weird idea.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Rod and Pole

A rod is indeed a unit of measurement, 16.5 feet or 5.5 yards. It is also known as a pole or—especially in the USA—a perch, so leading to that euphonious set of measurements that were printed on the back of every child’s exercise book when I was young: “rod, pole or perch”, which we used to delight in quoting, though none of us had come across any of them in the real world.
The rod was one of an important set of measures that were subdivisions of the standard mile. Four rods equal one chain (22 yards—still the length of a British cricket pitch between the stumps), 40 rods make one furlong and 320 rods equal one mile.
The name comes from the use of a rod as a measuring stick (quite a big one, you may agree ...). It’s first recorded in the fifteenth century; pole dates from about the same period.

Our Allotted Space

Well, since we moved to Henley we've missed having a proper garden since ours is a concrete yard with a few potted plants.
Wendy has been trying to get an allotment and has looked on the council web site for any vacant plots without any luck.

As it is such a nice day weather wise we decided to have a walk down to the local allotments where they were having an "Open Day" whatever that means.

We have a wander across the bridge and down by the cricket ground (they weren't playing) and into the allotments. We were early by about 20 minutes. God we must walk really fast! ;-)

We had a walk around and found a couple of people to speak to and saw that some of the plots were really neglected.

We were looking at the notice board and I was thinking it might be a good place to stick up a notice about the Photo Club when a man came over to us and asked if he could help us with anything. This man is Dave and he's on "T' Committee".

Anyway the outcome of our little stroll down the road is that we now have a "10 Pole Allotment". I don't have an internet connection while I am writing this so I can't tell you what a Pole is is metres or yards but I'll update later.

The plot we have is totally over grown with grassy stuff (I'm not a gardener) but does have Strawberries, Gooseberries and some other berries already growing on the plot so we''l be ok for fruit this summer. (apparently!)

Next week end is going to be bvery hard work because I have to hire a strimmer and cut donw all the overgrow stuff.

The size of this plot is 100 feet by 18 feet. So I guess a POLE is 10 feet as we have a 10 pole plot and it's 100 feet long.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Death of a Friend

Today has been somewhat emotional. I really didn't think I'd be that upset but seeing Tessa so lively and happy one minute and lifeless the next did make me cry a little.

The whole Vet thing is very clinical but somehow caring.

Even Jarvis (our other dog) has been out of sorts today. Now we're back home from the burial in Wendy's parents garden Jarvis has taken to his bed which is unusual since he'd normally be curled up on the sofa. I guess things will settle in the next couple of days and we'll just have our good memories of Tessa.

Friday, June 02, 2006

A bit of a stir!

Well, windows on a MacBook caused a bit of a stir. Such excitement, but I have a confession :D

It's not Bootcamp of Virtual PC at all its


So now I have that I'll not be running bootcamp or vpc any time soon.

I've found the only reason to have anything to do with PCs is access to my work email system so Citrix does the job.

Don't run Windows on a Mac of any kind!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Windows on MacBook!

Hey look what I did.
The ultimate sin?

When you're Strange

Some people have said I'm strange. Well Ben and Alex have said it, so I thought I'd just remind them of this song:
People are strange when you're a stranger
Faces look ugly when you're alone
Women seem Twiztid when you're unwanted
The streets around you are home when your down
When you're strange
Faces come out of the rain
When you're strange
No one remembers your name
When you're strange
When you're strange