Archive for March, 2008

Business as usual

Posted in Humour, life, modelling, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on March 16, 2008 by norvenmunky

Indeed the latest frenzy of forum sleb’s makes me wonder if we’ll see a revised form of TV game show ‘Forum fishing’. In this crack, new,  game show, the two nominated hobby ‘slebs’ go to an exhibition with the suckiest, most enthusiastic, of the forum feeders, contestants. The cam follows them around the show where the ‘slebs’ can show their knowledge and social skills as they parade, unhindered by backpack wearing stoats, through the ailles between the layouts, trade and demo’s. They’re stalked, accompanied by the three players, who have to hang on every word as they will form the later questions. The contestants get time to eat with their muses, heroes,  feasting on the delights of exhibition catering, before the ‘show’ begins. The contestants of course are kept a respectable distance away, so as not to indulge in any unhinged, faux-seductive moves, on their victims, of the type tried in nightclubs by pissed stoats in a misguided attempt to secure some floor sweepings before the ugly lights come on.

At the appointed hour the forum will open with an on-line vid cam interview, free of charge of course, coz the nets free innit? Dan Winterland, our ever genial host will provide the link between our ‘slebs’ and players, knowing full well the indolent quarry of the audience will be at home covered in Aphrodite’s evostick, having been surfing advertisements for limited edition ‘releases’ on the shit pump.

Our ‘game’ contestants then, each issued with an elbow length Marigold and half tin of Swarfega, are sat next to a box, not unlike a confessional cubicle, with the ‘sleb’ one side,  prepared to be the wheelbarrow, rather than the earthy chap pushing it from behind, and on the other, in arm’s reach, the players. Each get their chance to identify the ‘sleb’, by searching  for familiar exhibition fare, whilst gurning and muttering under their breath. Detailed, timed questions, relayed expertly by Dan on the ‘slebs’ specialist subject are asked, meanwhilst the players attempt to expertly shovel the steaming dung, (with their free hand), into a bucket.

Prizes will include, amongst other goodies, replacement watches.

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Livin’ in the future

Posted in photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 15, 2008 by norvenmunky

The high street comes of age, as described by ‘Bergen’, having now been released from Liz’s ‘Hotel’ with a promise of good behaviour, after the christmas shenanigans!

‘Herr Rukin remains besotted by the idea of matching your focal firepower. I fear the legal profession may intervene as matters get the better of him. He should concentrate on getting qualified as an instructor and getting the hell out of here

There I was the other day, determined to make my own substantial lens purchase. You may recall the place in Dunstable. It was there, nearly ten years ago, that I bought my film SLR and my Tamron lenses. I thought I’d pop in and see if they had the piece I was after. Hmmm; you know when you remember somewhere as it was some time ago and then return ? Well I walked in, looking for boxes of bodies and lenses. However all there seemed to be was an array of photo frames and such like. These sell I’m sure but I was still looking in vain as my confused hulk heaved-to in front of the counter. I explained what I wanted, only to be told they no longer stocked Canon stuff: or anything else remotely SLRish by the look of it.

Later in the day I was in central London perusing the delights of the metrolopiss. I chanced upon a camera emporium and popped in. My specific requirement had barely left my lips before the shopkeeper said “Yes we’ve got one here”.  As he removed the box from the counter I noticed the price on it and gulped. What is the object in question ? What made me blanche at the asking price ? Well, if you , Rukin and NMC’s Sontaran amabassador can buy lenses, so can I. Yes indeed, the Canon 50mm f1.8 will be mine !! This pinnacle of optical accessories is avilable for about £80 or less as far as my research can tell. However my friends in this place ( yes I know it was London ) wanted £110.  We shit you not !!

Holding the thing ( sorry, lens ) in my hands it became apparent to the staff I was backing off; stammering thanks for letting me look at it. Out came the calculator and several punches later they offered ten quid off. I remained unmoved, indeed the pained expression on my face told much. ” I’ve seen them for 75 or 80 quid ” said I.

Feigned, shocked disbelief behind the counter led to a frenzy of button punching until the green, Casio writing allowed them to “Meet me half way”. This was still far too much so your scribe bade them farewell and QFO’d to the cacophony of Tottenham Court Road.  Digital Depot, here I come.

This was actually the third attempt. The first was with Bristols at home. Being local I wandered into their small premises a few weeks ago. Now then, we hear all the time about how tough it is on the high street. So, imagine you run a camera shop. In walks the Jones who looks around your small ( 10′ sq ) shop. Confronted by nothing but bags and compacts he asks where you keep your lenses. Now ponder a while. Separate lenses. We are immediately talking SLR ( aren’t we ? ). I would have asked ” What sort of lens ? ”

Odds on you’d have made a sale. Then the Jones’ initially modest outlay would be followed in due course by a tripod, flash unit and more L glass. But no !  I was fobbed off by some mumbled, nondescript explanation of why they didn’t display lenses. Yes, I could see space was limited but a few moments of courtesy added to the simple expedient of popping upstairs to your storage area would very probably have led to several thousand pounds worth of business. No wonder the high street is in deep dwang.’

The deed is done. The Bergen swept into St. Evenage one Tuesday tea time; storming the emporium that is the Depot. Resistance was futile as the request for that icon of photographic hardware was delivered. The steely-eyed server of lensmen disappeared to the sanctum sanctorum, returning post-haste, clutching the item. The price saw off our shark like brethren of Tottenham Court Road by some thirty sheets.
Your scribe breaks into Gollum-speak:
Preciousssss !!!   We has it !  ( cough, splutter) 

Born To Run

Posted in Bachmann, DCC, Deltic, model railroad, model railway, modelling, NRM, rail, Uncategorized with tags , , on March 6, 2008 by norvenmunky

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Today, the postie, (a brilliant disguise, as he may as well have been Father Christmas), sauntered up the drive, and placed in my hands a locomotive, just born to run. There’s a human touch in knowing your postie and saying hello now and then, they’re one of my hometown local hero’s, along with the retained firemen, the village bobbie, the docs, all of whom provide those essential services that keeps remote and rural village life afloat.

So what of this loco? Well it’s the new release from Bachmann and the National Rail Museum, a joint collaboration resulting in what I think is the best 4mm scale ready to run locomotive to be released so far. It’s a limited edition, but appears to be one that will be released in batches by the NRM, the most interesting version will be the weathered edition. That’ll take some work to be convincing, as the loco stayed very pretty clean it’s whole life. Mine of course will be heading for the filth factory in due course, there’s plenty of shots of it in color which will help enormously. No doubt as these ‘normal’ versions hit the ebay shelves we will see internal fights break out forum after forum, on the place Limited Editions have in the toy train market, one day it’ll end in murder. Incorporated in this new release is a 21-pin DCC decoder, I assume this decodes 21 pins, if it does what it says on the tin. This already has started the keyboard worriers raging about the benefits of 6/8/13.5/21 and 78.57 pin sockets. I don’t think some realise this is ‘progress’ apparently. The 78.57pin socket will be released with the Kestrel model now so eagerly anticipated.

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Hard to believe that the picture above, (Note a 23 pin socket) will cause such foam and frenzy when it’s released in August 08, by a UK organisation not yet on the pitch. The Deltic takes an interesting place in the hirearchy of the UK outline RTR model, and I’d say value for money places it squarely at the top. This can only bode well for better days for the UK modelling scene, and hopefully in a constructive way it’ll have companies looking over their shoulders, wondering what’ll happen if I should fall behind? I’m under no illusion that these are now glory days for the UK modeler, or that this group of blood brothers, D+E modellers, apparently they only model the period after steam, (therefore they technically only model from August 11 1968 to about mid 1972, when BR allowed steam back on to its rails operating steam specials), are in for a new wave of superdetailed models without ‘serious flaws’ in them. I do wonder what happened to ‘discrepancies’? possibly too hard to spel proparly its been pushed into the river and been washed away.

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The really good news however is that with this excellent release, shares at Boots have rocketed after the mass debate within the D+E brethren, and ebay is awash with cheap PC keyboards and screens that look like plasterers radios …