Archive for January, 2009

Desire II

Posted in Humour, life, Stage school, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 30, 2009 by norvenmunky
Neighbours to the left of me, jokers to the right ...

Neighbours to the left of me, jokers to the right ...

I’m please to formally announce, my daughter, the ‘Gingham Clad Maverick’ (GCM), has “Arrived”. Comensurate with this we now find ourselves elevated into high society, and are probably the talk of a select few. Selected on the basis of their ability to nod their heads and say ‘Oh I know, yes, I know, Ow I knowww’ in the appropriate spaces.

Half Pint (GCM), is interested in the usual ‘girly’ things, pink, fluffy, cuddly, pretty, (that’s enough about me), stuff. She also does that stage school, dance school, trampoline school, gymnastics school, dolphin school, sort of things too. Well the elder sister decided she’d have a bit of the drama school malarky too, fair enough, so they both attend simultaneously, (thats together, if the neighbour is reading).

We probably live on the ‘right side of the tracks’ I suppose, though we probably don’t fit the rest of the street, and one of our neighbours is most definitely a bit of a this is a nice area (it is), for nice people (most are), kind of neighbour. Well the kids love the ‘hoofing’ and ‘luvvying’ of a Saturday morning, GCM has been a regular for a couple of years, couple of shows under her belt, brought the house down once with the old ‘Peering Under the Fire Curtain Gag’, mid performance, (someone elses), of course, and biggun joined just before December. So did the neighbours kid, the same age all bar a few days as GCM.

Well ‘Nanny’, that’s what they call the lady who can curdle milk and small children at 40 paces, mentioned in passing to Mrs NM a choice snippet. ‘Oh you know Mrs X?’, (The Neighbour), ‘She asked me why ‘Spoilt Brat 1′ hadn’t gone up to the advanced class at the same time as GCM, so I just said it was the right time for her to move’.

It was of course. Not only because GCM has got some time in, but also to assist us with the timing, two kids at the school the same time rather than staggered, like their dad coming home from the pub. Nanny and Mrs NM found it ‘tres ammusement’ that Mrs X, didn’t ask us why GCM had moved, but approached ‘Nanny’ clearly miffed that SB1 wasn’t being upgraded, despite being a new starter, and presumably ‘shite’ too.

Cancel two afternoon teas then ….

Advertisements

Canon G10

Posted in canon, canon g10, film, life, media, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 27, 2009 by norvenmunky

img_0743

Just a few more snaps, at the weekend we went for a walk and I got a few very good shots, dipping into the ‘Manual’ control facility. The LCD screen was excellent, showing the changes as they reflect on the actual picture. Couldn’t ask for more!

img_0727

It'll be nice when it's finished ...

It'll be nice when it's finished ...

Keep the Faith

Posted in canon, canon g10, Humour, life, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on January 21, 2009 by norvenmunky

img_0558

Today was an early start, an OFFS early start actually, to meet up with Rolfy, (see his Crayon and Sugarpaper section on the right hand side). Setting off from the east midlands, so called despite being as far north as Sheffield which is ‘in’t north’, how does that work? So at 04:30 the car ‘locked and loaded’, and then unlocked, (why did I just fecking lock it?) started, and driven off westwards to ‘Gods Country’. Well he’s certainly got a sense of humour thats for sure, the enigmatic emblem of a root vegetable and a wet sheep being those iconic images springing to mind of the ‘Land of my Fathers’. It was an uneventful drive including paying for the privelidge of avoiding Birmingham, a well spent £4.70 if ever there was one. There wasn’t even the usual early year running the gauntlet of suicide alley, where pheasants habitually hurl themselves into the paths of cars on one particular section that on a ‘good’ day looks like the bottom of a butchers dustbin. I did have one near miss, with a low flyer, but nothing like the the times both Rolfy and I have experienced as game birds literally hurl themselves in front of our cars …

The pre-arranged ‘meet’ took place in a car park, not the first one for Rolfy that morning I’m led to believe, though I’m not certain his first meeting was pre-arranged, it was more an ad-hoc, come as you are, wear a uniform if you like, type of thing.
A quick check of the weather and the opportunity to try and get some ‘money shots’ led us to a different lay-by a few miles away. Its always interesting to see the looks on hardened lorry drivers faces as two cars turn up in their lay-by, and blokes get out of cars and start putting clothes on. It usually takes fifteen minutes or so to get suited, booted and our equipment packed just as we like it. Then its a deep breath before waddling sweating and swearing away from the warmth and security of the cars.

Today was an easy climb, a bit of a surprise in that I’d only been out once in the past year, this time it was without the expert guidance and verbal eloquence of our deck chair carrying brummie brethren. We’d got pretty much up to our shooting location when we had our only visitors of the day, a pair of hawks travelling quick enough to make reaching for the camera a non starter, but we thought a good omen for the day. Well it was, sort of. The problem being that all the traffic we saw passed us by, and overhead Rolfy’s nite-stop lay-by which we’d left behind at the start of the day. By now we were at the snow line, which meant the possibility of snow backgrounds and bloody cold feet and hands etc etc …

Snow Line

Snow Line

It’s not the first time we’ve used this location, it is however very exposed, and the right clothing is a must, and today whilst we didn’t get to snap any planes, we did have the opportunty to visit the inside of snow, rain and hail showers, which was nice, always a crowd pleaser that one.
img_0561

Normally we get to try and tempt planes with assorted Ginsters pies, they normally work, but even a quick demo of line dancing from Rolfys night out in Machynlleth, failed to even attract the senior service, who were last seen heading toward Trawsfynydd.

Rolfy throws some 'shapes'

Rolfy throws some 'shapes'

So a round trip of 360’ish miles was it worth it? Yes. to do this sort of photography you need a lot of luck, time, and faith in it ‘happening’, one day, it will.

Something so Strong

Posted in canon, canon g10, film, life, macro, media, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 18, 2009 by norvenmunky
The Majestic

The Majestic

Carrying on with getting to know you with Canon’s G10 has been a bit slow, but on occaision I’ve managed to ‘pop a few caps’ with it over the past week or so. What’s it like with contrast and against the light shots? Well so far pretty good, the shot above has good shadow foreground detail, and the metering has held well with a cross section of the bright frontage of the Theatre and the neutral red brick, the sky has also retained the depth of its color too, which was nice …

Tiffy

Tiffy

The Typhoon, note I’ve captioned it ‘Tiffy’ to appear Uber Cool amongst the Binker glitterati out there, and imply I actuall know what specific version it is, was shot almost into direct sun. The live screen does wash out when you do this, and its not a good idea to do too much to save potential sensor damage,

Another 'Phoon'

Another 'Phoon'

Here’s one direct into sunlight, again handled well and still retaining some shadow detail on the original print. The caption indicates to the other ‘binkers’ who are now snorting that they’re not known as ‘Tiffies’, that I know another. I know another too ‘EUFI’, but that’s me getting all ‘pro’ …
Still back to the Canon G10 , and you can see even directly into light it’s still retaining good colour definition too, a very clever trick. All the images here are as they come, so no enhancements have been made, just imported and exported through Googles Picassa.

The zoom is pretty handy, combined with the macro facility. Apologies for the train geek stuff but this shows the macro off quite well. Neither of these shots have been cropped in any way.

Macro

Macro

Max macro

Max macro

The next shot has been cropped, and slightly tweeked of a Tornado at RAF Coningsby again into light and at max zoom.

Tornado

Tornado

The inbuilt flash is not overpowering either working well as a fill-in flash:
img_0453

It also works well here where its brightened a dark alleyway considerably and not burnt out the foreground or lost the background detail.

Market Fill flash

Market Fill flash

Overall I’m very pleased with the camera. Would I reccomend it to others? Yes, undoubtedly.

Power

Power


Would I recommend it above other compact cameras or manufacturers?, No. This is because I’ve not done or had the facility to do a back to back test with a.n. other. Its also because I have no need or desire to do such a test, I’ve bought it, it works as I want it to. Sorted.

Sweetest Thing

Posted in canon, canon g10, film, life, macro, media, model railroad, model railway, modelling, photography, trainspotting, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on January 12, 2009 by norvenmunky
End of the rail ...

End of the rail ...

A couple of people have been asking how I’ve been getting along with the Canon G10, well quite well, my first thoughts are its well designed, intuitive, if you’re a Canon addict, and feels ‘quality’. I’ve not yet done any RAW images just relied on large Jpeg’s so far.

Downside which I noticed early on is apart from a quickstart manual the bulk of the user info is on a cd. I can see the logic, but theres a real disadvantage in the learning stages, in that I’m unlikely to take my pc hill climbing with me, and it means you have to sit in front of a screen, rather than in the pub with a pint and the manual.

img_0067
Color rendition is excellent, straight from the box with no enhancement.

img_0329
Macro facility is again excellent, this data, on a toy train, is only 7mm tall and 6mm wide in real life. I’ll add more info and shots as I get used to it. I think it’ll be the camera of choice for workshop related images rather than the DSLR.

Into Temptation

Posted in Bachmann, model railroad, model railway, modelling, rail, trainspotting, Uncategorized, vi-trains with tags , , , , on January 11, 2009 by norvenmunky

img_0287-2

Since having posted about Auntie Vi’s efforts I’ve now received a second version, and I find the more I look at them the more I see.

For me this really is a way ahead of what we’ve had previously for class 47’s. I’m not one to knock manufacturers efforts, if they aren’t making what I want that doesn’t bother me much, if they do make what I want and balls it up, that’s life. I will look at what they’ve done to see if ‘I’ can live with it, or if I want to modify it, or if I’ll not bother. Hornby’s new 9F is such an item, it’s an improvement over what went before, but still not as good as Bachmanns version, so its a ‘ta, but no ta’ from me on that one.

Vi’s 47 however makes the Heljan version redundant for me as an option, and thats just in the chassis before looking at the body, which many in the hobby know to be too wide. Only a couple of mil, but enough to notice when placed against one thats correct. The detail on Heljans effort, good for its time, is now compared to the Vi effort, and by todays standard, ( set by Vi’s), is quite coarse. This will no doubt lead to much frothing and foaming, that a ‘Lima’ train can be so good. Only thing is its not Lima is it?, and frankly you’d need to be under the influence of Peruvian marching powder to think otherwise!

So looking at Vi’s chassis its much the same as the 37, in that it’s not exceptionally fast, but does run very smoothly. The simple drive to the two outer wheels on the motor bogie and the weight allows it to shift twelve Bachmann Mk1’s on a second radius train set loop on the conservatory floor. The only problem being ensuring that children had removed rabbit + rabbit pooh from the floor before track laying commenced, though I’m not sure we’ll see that covered. It’s one thing having ‘blood on your hands’ but rabbit pooh’s a different matter altogether.

An 'empty' rabbit, yesterday

An 'empty' rabbit, yesterday

Running the loco by itself will give a different result than under load, and this was done using DC. It’s always interesting to read that DCC will improve all running, especially slow running. I’ve yet to see an electrical system toy train or otherwise that overcomes mechanical deficiencies. I’ve not currently got any Heljan 47’s, but comparing against a Falcon (very similar drive), or two, shows no real discernable difference in running qualities with Vi’s chassis. When run back to back against the Bachmann 47/57 chassis, however there is a noticeable difference. The Bachmann variety ‘cogs’, almost like a 20p piece being rolled on its edge at low speed, whereas Vi’s just rolls smoothly. Once the Bachmann version is above a slow crawl then it runs as well as Vi’s. Put them both on a rolling road where there’s no real resistance, and the ‘cogging’ of the Bachmann chassis is largely masked …

However looking at the detail variants with Vi’s V2058, it’s modelled as preserved, and with one marker panel painted black. With nothing better to do for five minutes, inspection of each end reveals that the marker panel lights in fact have different prototypical light mounts molded. A quick squint at the Res version shows that the panels are the same each end, (correctly).
img_0301-2

For the more anal, particular, amongst the modelling foamers, this means the body can’t be used for some locomotives as the light mounts won’t be the correct ones. We know where this is leading, at some time in the future poor Vi will be given a kicking because they’ve released a model with the incorrect marker light fixings, you heard it here first! Not only that but it may make 47401’s correct body molding, incorrect for anything else, unless there’s another 47 with different fixings at each end of the same type at the No1/2 ends respectively.

img_0308
Here’s Bachmanns 47 which is work in progress at the moment, both this one for me, and allegedly in house at Bachmann. Well Aunties certainly thrown the gauntlett down with this one, and Bachmann have a bit of work to do to match her offering. I hope they do a good job of it. If they don’t, ‘Snake Milkers’ form an orderly que now, there’s ‘work’ to be done. You may start now, some probably have …

Better Days

Posted in Bachmann, model railroad, model railway, modelling, Uncategorized, vi-trains with tags , , , , , , , on January 2, 2009 by norvenmunky

img_01493

Well Auntie Vi has finally let a good one rip! Unfortunately for the members of the foaming community, there appears to be not a great deal to actually moan about. There is of course the almost obligatory error on the livery on at least two of the releases, but then it wouldn’t really be a toy train without one. So far there are perhaps two of them where the crayons have been applied and gone outside the lines a bit. Me, I can live with that. Its a bit like having a young child, as they get the hang of ‘stuff’ you give them more encouragement, to stretch themselves, and temper it with constructive criticicsm.
You can see from the picture above, I’ve actually held one in my hand, this puts me in a small number of people who can now talk bollox about it, having actually seen it, run it, and taken Auntie Vi’s top off …

img_0165

Its dissapointing to report that it looks like one, and runs like one, (It pulls more than Mr Lind at a $10 wife ‘cab rank’), and has more stuff in the box than a train load of binkers are ever likely to achieve with Julia Bradbury.

Here we see Auntie Vi sandwiched between two Chinamen, the one on top being a class 57, and the bottom being a class ’57’, sorry, ’47’.
img_0171

The bottom dweller here, is in fact a modified Chinaman, yes its had the op, and I’ve taken the knife to it, and had to rebuild quite a bit below the belt. It’s something I’d rather not do. Below the belt with Auntie Vi is particularly interesting, all the bits are there, and everythings in proportion, there’s no un-needed pipework that needs removing and you get that warm comfortable feeling as the equipment just ‘fits’. The Chinaman however needs quite a few screws to make sure his bottom doesn’t end up all over the work shop floor.
img_0158

Here we can see Auntie and the Chinaman with their tops off, and Auntie is a little lower cut than the Chinaman. I don’t see any particular problem with AC/DC or even DCC fitting, in fact Auntie may even be more accomodating in this respect, whether you’ll hear the sounds of flange squeal in due course, is yet to be determined.
img_0174

I can also report Auntie’s been measured.
img_0172

Auntie did this herself, and was very pleased as she could still comfortably accomodate the box she normally offers to her ‘regulars’. There have been reports that she stands too tall, by all of 1 millimetre, but the rest of her proportions and curves appear very easy on the eye.

The Chinaman is reported to be undergoing surgery (below the belt) in preparation for a ‘release’ later this year. Hopefully this op will go well and we’ll see him with very similar equipment to Auntie below the skirt,
img_0152

I will also be interested to see if he still runs at ‘half mast’, post op, as well …