Long Time , No See

Well that’s to all of you who may happen to read this poor attempt at a blog! Hope everything is all good in your world? There has been lots happening in mine and will try and fill you in on these below. Now I’m sure I will miss some bits and bobs but will endevour to come back and add them later.

Firstly is the lack of keeping this updated. I have no excuse, I have had plenty of free time over the last couple of months, but have found myself occupied with other things. I have however been keeping my Twitter and Tumblr Blog up to date, so please take a look to see my daily ramblings and where I’ve been recently.

First off Smoking. I had mentioned in a previous post that I had attempted to give up the old fags! Well as of today I have gone 8 weeks without one! Well done to me! It has been very hard and especially whilst out and about with everyone else chuffing away! But I’ve stayed strong and resisted, I hopefully will be smoke free forever! I have been going down the patches route and as of tomorrow will be on the final 2 week lowest dose!

Now with not smoking you may think that I have had loads of money to myself and find myself in a new financial situation. Well the answer is yes and no, the problem is you see that I have always been crap with money and if I have it I will spend it! So with all this extra cash I have been investing in many things. Cd’s, DVD’s, Books and model trains! (More about his later, maybe not today!)

But this has now stopped, I have succeeded in not buying crap food whilst out with work and from now on this is the testing times, do not go crazy when I look at the bank balance. There are many things on the iwant list for the future, a new compact camera, a new lens for my SLR and a holiday would be nice, The US has been calling me and the wife recently, may have to go back to good old NYC!

But I have my feet firmly on the ground and trying to be a sensible, mature grown up! Lets see if this continues!

On the geek front, a few updates I am now the proud owner of two iPhones, al be it one of them is a work one but now I am all powerful in the world of mobiles! The obsession with Fox’s Glee continues and am eagerly awaiting the new episodes in around two weeks time!

This then brings me onto a small matter of another television great returning. The Doctor! Yes on Saturday Doctor Who returns with Matt Smith in all its HD glory on the BBC. To say i’m a bit excited like a little boy would be an understatement. I’m sure my good friend Magic Moir will also be counting down the days, hours and minutes until this occasion. Cant wait to have a good old geeky chat with him about it. Also the last few episodes of Lost which he is also an avid fan. Will we ever know why, what and why all of that ever happened????

Mind The Gap

On the other major geek front, railways, I have been a busy little spotter with a couple of trips already in the bag this moth with plenty of photos being taken, many of which can be found on my flickr page. I have also taken a route down to the darkside of railway enthusiasts and returned to spotting wagons. I used to do this many years ago in the early 90’s, but I have found that if you end up owning a book of them, you will spot! Still it has given me a fresh enthusiasm for my hobby, whatever you feel, I’m happy!

So I think thats about it not to go on too much, just another insight to what is going on with me. Oh and I still have not started exercising, but will try within the next week or two to go out running and on the pushbike more.

So until then I bid you all farewell

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Improving

I’m always keen to keep improving my photography, be it shots of people, buildings, trains whatever. So with this in mind a me trying to expand my range of different shots, I have invested in a book to help and guide me.

Now it is centred around Digital Railway Photography, but it is a fascinating read, it’s opening my eyes up to new opportunities, with simple tips, tricks and so on. Later on it also has a large section on editing digital images through Photoshop. Not got to that bit as yet but I’m sure it will be as interesting.

Let’s hope it will bring me some interesting and successful results, so watch this space.

Gleek

As you may have guessed from the pic above or the fact the title of this entry is gleek, that I am referring to the phenomenon that is Glee! Yes Fox’s brilliant comedy about the kids at high school who sing and dance, who are not cool! (Unlike HSM).

I recently started watching this after seeing it on the usual online TV torrent sites last year, but not paying much attention. So when I saw the UK trailer for E4 I decided to tune in. I was not disappointed, but then I suppose this is not everyones cup of tea. You see I have a bit of a soft spot for musicals and the like so the chances of me enjoying it were quite high.

However I feel I may be getting a little obsessed, with me downloading the songs from the show and watching video on the fox.com website.

Yes I can hear the screams of “Gay-Boy”, “Geek”, “Loser”, and so forth but  this programme has me feeling all warm inside and a general happiness.

So from that I will leave you to carry on with your day, and remember ‘Don’t Stop Believing’

Smoking is Cool

And you know it is, Fact. No I know it’s very bad for you and so on and so forth, but he plain and simple fact is that Smoking is Cool, you just have to look at all the famous cool people in the world, they all smoke don’t they, Yes!

Which brings me on to my point, I am cool and as from tomorrow, 1st February 2010, I will no longer be cool as I’m packing in the fags! there I have announced it to the world.

There are many reasons for this but more importantly than anything else it’s about time. I have heard tales from friends who have managed this task in the past, and they are amazed that halfway through the month they still have money left in their bank accounts! I’m especially looking forward to this.

To also counteract the retirement from coolness, I will also throughout February be not drinking any form of alcohol! I have concluded that temptation is the highest for cigarettes whilst enjoying a cold pint or two with friends. To stop the fags I must cease the beer, although only temporarily.

So this is my mission, if you will, my goal, my vision, my challenge for 2010. I think I’m ready, smoked all of the remaining fags,  drank all the beer in the fridge, stop taking money out with me to prevent my from purchasing said items, and most importantly invested in some heavy duty nicotine patches! On the other side of this pain I will be considerably more wealthy, more healthy and more nice smelly.

Chances are good that I will succeed so I will keep you posted, and Im sure that my regular tweets will keep you updated, so here goes, here’s to a month of hell.

Bye for now!

Night Photos

As the title suggests this entry is all about shooting stuff at night, no not animals with a gun but stuff with my lens and camera. Now in the past I’ve been successful with my point and push compact but that has been whilst out and about drinking. Most of the results are exactly what I wanted, slightly blurred and with lights all over the place.

However I have been out tonight with my DSLR and tripod to catch some pics down the railway station in the dark. I’ve had a somewhat mixed success. Now when the trains were standing still I had not so much of a problem, when there moving at slow speed that is when the problems occur. Now I know that i’m restricted here as my EOS 400 D only goes to an ISO setting of 1600, but I have seen many pics on the internet at 3200 ISO in the dark which are OK. What I need to find out is how to catch stuff whilst moving at high ISO settings. What speed, what aperture setting??? There is such a book available on the subject and me thinks come pay day it will be ordered.

Until then I will continue to experiment…

Motorway Bashing

So back in August I posted on my tumblr blog about going on many different motorways in one day. This can be read here. For while I thought I would not ever beat my current score of 8  motorways. Until recently.

I was going through some old notes and found this scribbled down from my notepad in the van. I have indeed beaten 8 with 11 different motorways.

To explain this rather geeky thing a  little bit, whilst i’m driving around the country my mind wanders somewhat. One day I though that I had been on quite a few motorways in one day, so I decided to keep track and then see if my travels would allow me to better that.

So here are the results:

Thursday 20th August 2009: 8: M40, M42, M6 TOLL, M6, M62, M60, M66, M56

New Count:

Thursday 10th December 2009: 11: M876, M873, A823 (M), M73, M74, A74 (M), M6, M6 TOLL, M42, M40

It’s going to take one big journey to beat this but hey, i’m willing to give it a go!

Update

Hello there and happy 2010. Thought it was time to update the blog here, it has been a while and so much has happened! Much of which I was planning to talk about on here, but alas time has been against me and I have not done so.

So here goes, a quick roundup of what has been happening; Christmas, New Year, First Railway Picture Published, The End of the 10th Doctor; Apple Time Capsule & Magic Mouse

Anyway I may well go back to some of these later in depth. But if you click on some of the topics they will take you through to a relevant page and /or blog which may explain in a bit more detail.

Anyway hope this has kept you all in check, I will now will endeavour to expand more on my random ramblings and will try to improve my writing style.

I’ve done something….

As I have already discussed in previous posts, i’m a rail enthusiast, now that may shock you. But I feel i’m quite a normal kind of guy, not your stereotypical ‘Train Spotter’. My friends would even agree with me on that one!

However, I recall showing one of my good friends, Mr Moir a few pics in the past of some ‘proper’ spotters, and he found it very amusing.

Jump forward many months and I feel that I will have to share this little thing with him also. Now as a enthusiast in all aspects of railways I do take photographs of trains. I have also been taking photographs of train spotters taking photos of trains!

Strange, weird, maybe bonkers, but still amusing. I’m sharing this with you to see what you think. Some of the photos it is a tad hard to spot the spotter. One photo even had a female spotter! simple sit back and indulge, you will however find many stereotypical spotters in this images, so you have been warned.

Follow this link here of click on the image above

Recent Activity

So I seem not to be updating this blog as much as  I would like. There are many reasons for this; firstly the wife was away with work in Las Vegas last week, this allowed me to watch what I wanted to on the old telly, thus being too involved in whatever I was watching to open up the MacBook. Secondly having a very busy couple of weeks with work. Im sure there are more reasons but none come to mind as yet.

But I’m here and back, sitting at home on the sofa whilst most other people are slaving away at work! Needless to say I’m not on the skive, just had a hell of a lot of holiday to use up before Christmas.

Christmas, this brings me on to another point, two days ago whilst driving through The City in London, I heard the first Christmas song of the year, Mariah Carey. This blearing out of the van stereo with me singing along feeling oh so festive. I want to put something out there: I LOVE CHRISTMAS! I know I am a big kid, but its so much fun. the music, the party’s, decorations and most of all being skint! I love it.

Those of you who are also keeping a notice on my Flickr pages will see yet more train pics. These were from a recent sojourn out to the North West last weekend with an old school friend. The day started with a stop off at Birmingham International before 6.00am to catch a charter train, then headed off up to Crewe. Had a bargain of a ticket, £18.00 for a Cheshire Ranger. This allowed us to travel from Crewe to Manchester, then along the historic Rainhill route between Manchester and Liverpool. Then around Merseyside down to Chester and back to Crewe. The day was good and I managed to complete both the Class 507 & Class 508 MerseyRail Electrics. Good Times.

Anyway that will do for now, I will be posting again soon as I’m off to Scotland next week for two days with work, so will try and pop into Carlisle and Glasgow on route as I’m off to Fife.

So until then, enjoy the festive season and try and stay out of the rain!

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