April 27th, 2009

I’ve been out on the photograph again, and went on a 150mile drive yesterday. I also found two more old photographs, one of the Bedford QLD my granddad drove, and another of some desert camp with a convoy driving through.

Legacy Water Tower Bedford QLD

Army Desert Camp

I notice I’ve been blogging a lot recently. If this is good or bad, I don’t know, as last year I rarely blogged.

Lastly, I went out and bought another T-Shirt, to show my profound enthusiasm for multiplayer zombie survival game Left 4 Dead by Valve, to which I award top score:


Family History

April 24th, 2009

Derek in EgyptI’m not going down my dads path, who ensured our childhood weekends out consisted of visiting graveyards, but I’ve recently found out a bit about my grandad. Not only was he a railwayman, but he was in the national service, in Railway Squadron, serving in Egypt, in 1949. There he is, pictured to the left, at what I believe is Adabiya Docks, in Egypt.

He was admitted for National Service in 1947, only two years after the war. Had he been born two years earlier, I might not be here today.

He was sent to the Royal Engineers, 10 Railway Squadron, which according to the internet, was based in Suez. I presume building and maintenance of the railways surrounding the then join UK/French Suez canal would have been the primary reason for them to be there. 10 Railway Squadron was later re-organised into 10 Transportation Squadron, and was sent to Singapore in 1956, long after his national service time was up.

Details As previously written, me and my brother were installing lights in the attic. To facilitate this, the attic had to be emptied. So, down came old boxes, some unopened since they were closed, in some cases many years. This box was falling apart, so we were moving the contents to an empty shoebox when we spotted an old Army Service book. Inside was the above photo. I’ve taken photos of some of the pages.

In civilian life, he was a Steam locomotive fireman, and then a guard, and trainee Diesel driver during the 70’s. I know from more of these document that he was a part of the representatives from Croes Newydd depot in Wrexham during the meeting to discuss it’s closure. The main problem seemed to be that Croes Newydd was a fully staffed, full time depot, and Chester, where the work would be shifted to, was not, and the staff wanted to know why the reverse was not taking place.

I found two further photos in the same box – One of an army camp in the desert, and another of a group, I have identified my Granddad as the leftmost person one in the front row in the below photo. The group of documents and photos I have been digitising can be found here, on my flickr account.
Training Photo

Skype on an iPhone

April 23rd, 2009

It looks pretty damn handy for chatting with any contact, over 3G, EDGE, or WiFi. No calls outside of WiFi though. It’s not a Skype handset.


April 22nd, 2009

I hope I get paid before the weekend. It means I can gas up and go get some photographs.

I went to start taking historical photos of Wrexham for CC-SA licensing, as most current images of the town are copyrighted.

Royal Welch Fusiliers Drill Hall
This one is of military historical importance. Wrexham was the headquarters of the Royal Welch Fusiliers, now the Royal Welsh, now based over the border in Chester.

This was their drill hall.

Walking it off

April 12th, 2009

It was nice today. So nice in fact that I had to go outside and enjoy the nice weather. No cycling yet, but I took my camera for some local shots.

Coedpoeth and Wrexham Ford and Bridge

Nant Mill

So, that was the days events. We walked up a massive hill, and then across the bracken-filled, pathless waste peat-bog along the top, and then back down to a level lower than the village, so we had to walk up again. Madness. My legs still hurt, and both dogs are down for the count, which is rare as they usually both never tire.

I am contemplating going out again tomorrow with the camera, to add yet more photos to the ever growing collection, if the weather holds, that is. The plus side to all this nice weather is that the aerial is still fine.

Tomorrow evening, I hit the town for drinking. I shall get completely wasted, feel ill, and, of course, cause my father to become devoid of alcohol as he’ll need to pick me up. Curse living three miles away from town. Curses!

Wrexham, and a distant Carden Park

An Extended Weekend

April 8th, 2009

Finally, Good Friday and a Bank Holiday Monday. A four day weekend. This weekend, if the weather is as it has been for the last few weeks, will be perfect for Cycling. I have procured a strong belt which my camera bag can be attached to. Using this setup, I should be able to take my camera without it swinging wildly, possibly damaging itself.

I have a new T-Shirt, to show my love of Lost!

I bought it a month ago, and it took friggin ages to arrive, but finally, it surprisingly turned up out of the blue.

Also, I am now the proud holder of shares in an enterprise! Woo.


April 3rd, 2009

I think I might do some more cycling. The only issue is that I live a ways away from sea level, and while going anywhere is bound to be fun, coming back might be hard.

Driving around with a camera

March 29th, 2009

Finally, enough time, petrol, and good weather to go out and get some interesting objects from around Wales.
Pre-Worboys signCanal LockBersham Colliery pithead

Nice wheels

Barmouth Bridge

Bersham Colliery pithead

DIY and Punctures

March 27th, 2009

Hurray! A mighty aerial! Me and my brother and father put this up, primarily so I could recieve TV Signals on my PC again, but it’s usefulness now gives freeview to all the houses TVs.

A mighty aerial - Take one

Oh no, structural failure! After two weeks, high winds made short work of it.

A mighty aerial - Fail #1 A mighty aerial - Fail #2

The first attempt held for a record breaking two weeks. A similar attempt last year lasted a few more. A dent in the mast we bought seems to have weakened and then bent right over in high winds the other night. No worries, though, in less than 24 hours, a replacement mast with a larger diameter tube was sourced and again, it stood tall.

A mighty aerial - Take Two

If you look to the left of the wall mount, you can see last years attempt’s remnants, when the wall mounting failed. This year, the wall mounting is sound, but the mast broke. Now I’ve bought a stronger mast, and bolted it myself, while my brother held it straight, both of us in very high winds.

My car has returned from the garage! Good, except the day I took it there, I had a complete tyre failure as there appears to be a nail in the tyre, with the help (well, he did all the work) of a trusty work compadre, the tyre was changed, that night I did a soapy water test on the tyre, and the nail is the source of the troubles.

Soapy Water

The spare tyre has seemingly never seen any use, as it is still emblazened with the original bar code, and “RTFM” markings from GM. I’ve forgotten it’s there a few times and go over 50mph, but I usually remember and slow back down again.

Spare in use

I have also been helping my brother to install some flourescents in the attic. The attic has always been a no-go area as fumbling around with a torch can be dangerous while also trying to climb over the trusses.

Attic Work (2)

The Car is back.

March 21st, 2009

It has a few replacement ECUs fitted, and a new ignition system.

Totally free for me, no charges incurred at all.

One problem is that the key I kept here in the house now doesn’t open the car remotely or start the engine. The immobiliser transponder chip must not be working with the new systems.


March 14th, 2009

Remember that car that broke down on me last week?

Apparently it has a problem with the Engine management system, telling all four fuel injectors to turn off when the car is moving, preventing fuel and air from entering the cylinders and cutting off the engine. Apparently a problem with the ignition system is causing the computer to think the engine is off, so off the engine goes.

A new ignition system should do me fine. The cost is free as the car is still under warranty. Evans Halshaw (a Ford garage) just took the car to a Vauxhall garage, and they know the car, so diagnosed it quick sharp.

On the downside, insurance is renewed this month.

£91 a month for Fully comprehensive with Admiral, with a hire car and personal injury benefits added.

Car is broke.

March 11th, 2009

Remember that post I made last week about being late with getting that issue fixed?

Now the car is broke.

There are lessons to be learned somewhere.


February 28th, 2009

Remember how may car was recalled for free repairs last May, or face possible explosions?

I got that fixed last month.

I like to dice with danger.

Woo Scotland

February 11th, 2009

Forth Rail Bridge

Edinburgh Castle



February 4th, 2009

It’s February. Possibly the worst month of the year, because it doesn’t have the Christmas/Holiday stories that frequented January, or the promises of a new year, or any bank holidays. The same goes for March. April is when the shit hits the fan. Budgets renew themselves and a new Quarter begins, meaning loads of new films and games to immerse myself in.

Besides this, a few interesting things happened. Firstly, I went for a drive to the peak district, over Snake pass, however got lost, and turned up in Sheffield. I discovered there are trams there. It snowed while I was there, and all of Monday. Not as deep as other parts of the country, but enough to excite everyone.

My year of AA membership is over, and has been renewed. Hard to think that a year ago next month I drove my car into a sizeable mass of water, with no working engine or electronics, and no phone coverage, with a three mile walk back to Llangollen, or over the hill to Coedpoeth while drenched. Fortunately the nice AA man who came to fix the other car fixed mine too, prompting me to join that evening.

Thinking back, I was a complete arse at driving the Rover. Trying to look cool by speeding over blind hills on single track roads and around bends in complete darkness, cutting people off and running through amber traffic lights when they had actually gone red. Thank <your deity here> that I changed my ways, else I might be dead, or worse, without a license. It’s now been almost a year since my last incident in any way, although on Tuesday I did a rather long skid on a roundabout in the ice. Skidded at a chicane, too. Nasty stuff, ice, but still gave a cheap thrill.

However, tonight I drove my dad’s Red 2008 Mondeo. It was totally illegal, of course, having no permission from the owner (a leasing company), but I had my dad in the car, so I didn’t go joy riding or anything like that, just drove it back from town.

This weekend we go to Edinburgh for two nights, to watch the Six Nations game Wales vs Scotland. The last time I went was around the same time two years ago, I remember because the Rover was having major issues with the HT leads, halving engine power, and couldn’t drive it. We also lost spectacularly. However, after last years Six Nations win, we are going again this year, except this time I shall be driving my car up there with us all in.

It’ll snow again tonight and tomorrow, hopefully enough so work may send us home. I’ll turn up if I can, because I want to keep 100% attendance this year (I had a single day off last year, and so didn’t get the usual end of year £100 for full attendance.)

Tonight, I have been experimenting with dual booting Windows 7! I am very impressed with it initially, and believe it to be a huge improvement over Vista, but I hope the anti-trust laws against Microsoft defaulting to Internet Explorer are enforced before it’s release, so I don’t have to put up with it ever again.

The Computer score would be higher than Vista’s if it weren’t for the e-SATA drive I used to install it on giving it a 3.0. I recently bought two sticks of 1GB RAM, apparently one of the fastest DDR2 sticks available, which has greatly improved GTAIV, although for some reason, the more memory added to Vista, the worse the Memory subscore gets, where this is fixed in Windows 7.

Hopefully I can get rid of the e-SATA drive once I buy a 1TB SATA drive, my next purchase. After that, it’s another high end Graphics card, as my now 2 year old 8800GTS is chugging away on the newer games.

Until next time, Cheerio!