hirez: (dissent)
The thing I was going to write yesterday, but mutated into whining about IP addresses, turned out to be slightly deeper than I expected.

For reasons of retro, or perhaps for reasons of 'These are the things we have lying about' the washing line isn't a collapsible hurdy-gurdy (as Pa named all things that went round and round) like modern people from the seventies have to hang their bri-nylon outside so as to catch all the instant sunshine provided by a WE.177C free-fall thermonuclear device.

(Is is perhaps coincidence that people wore fewer nylon undergarments as CMOS logic became more popular?)

No. We do not have that sort of thing because our back garden is a nuclear-free zone. The front garden is handy for the front door, so is often at home to my Alpha-particle-emitting key fob. Which has been glowing quietly for at least twenty years.

So in our nuclear-free garden we must keep something that is not of the seventies and will not remind people of such things lest they have a march and make a right mess of the strawberries, the careless CND bastards. Thus the washing line is held up by a pair of what I'm fairly sure are scaff poles. They've gone a lot rusty and the hammerite I applied about a decade ago is beginning to flake off as the rust blooms outwards like spaceship fungus.

The one nearest the house has also been leaning at more and more of a drunken angle since the thing that was holding it upright no longer works.

There is an unknown length of RSJ (I-beam to everyone else) concreted into the garden, and it would be at an ideal height to bark one or other shin upon, were it not set in line with a low wall that holds up the alleged rockery. There is (or was) a very rusty V-bolt more-or-less pinning the bottom of the scaff pole to that RSJ, with the rotten remains of a lump of wood that was originally providing some squidge to tighten the V-bolt against.

It had all rotted out. A week or so ago, I poked at the thing with a stick, worked out how big the V-bolt was, and realised with something of a sinking feeling that I was setting a chain of events in motion when I toddled upstairs to order replacement bolts off the internets. I had also decided to buy myself an angle-grinder as a present, because, well, angle-grinder. Also because the existing V-bolt was single rusty lump and there wasn't enough WD-40 in the known universe to free off its nuts. (ooer, etc.)

The replacement V-bolts arrived on Saturday morning. The sun was bright and the air was clear and I peered at the things as they sat on the table, wishing for an excuse. I thought that I might as well inspect the old V-bolt again, since I would need to find a lump of wood in the shed to replace the rotten section. I waggled the pole back and forth, experimentally. Then thought 'Oh fucking bollocks to everything' and hauled at it. It lifted right out, which was tiresome. I scraped out the weeds, earth and rotten wood. The bottom end of the scaff pole came out next. It had completely rusted out, which is why I was able to move it at all.

I was committed now.

I dug out a junior hacksaw (I have several, but can only ever find one at a time) and cut away the rusty bolt. At some point, silly-sod the previous owner had performed some more concreting and made it impossible to replace the V-bolt, so I attacked that with a bolster until there was enough elbow room. In the shed, where I have been clearing space, I found the right lump of wood to squidge between RSJ and scaff pole.

I had the thing back in place and bolted firmly upright before I really knew what I was doing.

If there's a take-away from any of this, it's that I have some difficulty diving into projects that I'm not entirely sure about. 'Some difficulty' in this case probably also parses as 'sinking feeling and nameless dread, why not go and waste the afternoon on social media instead?' which is no real way to run a railroad.

The upside to some of this is that I obviously have collected enough random bits of wood that they're starting to come in very handy indeed. And also that there's the start of enough space in the shed/garage to be able to think small thoughts without having to go outside to change your mind.
hirez: (pillock)
I am not a natural camper. I'm probably an unnatural camper because the sight of middle-aged blokes in shorts, long socks and brogues clambering out of a caravan at 8AM leads me to question my life choices, rather than nod in an English way and go polish the Caravan Club badge on the front of the car.

(NB: Does Not Exist. NT badge only. Tangentially, I never used to wonder at the number of CSMA badges I used to see as a small child. They were just there. Only very recently did I stop and think 'I lived down the road from GCHQ. Oh...')

Anyway. The weekend past (and part of the week) was spent in a field at the far pointy end of Cornwall, handy for both Porthcurno Telegraph Museum and the Logan Rock pub. Both of which we visited mob-handed. Because if you're going to go off camping with a mob of hackers (I think the 'and makers' goes without saying.) you might as well visit one or more of the key places of historic (and less so) interest.

It was fucking marv. Even though as first person on site (a terrible mistake for everyone else to make there) I didn't spot the direction of the prevailing wind until after erecting my tent on the 'wrong' side of the windbreak fences. Hey, and indeed ho.

Sat around, talked rubbish, drank beer, generated a set of fine ideas, walked around and looked at things, got a bit sunburned, drank more beer. Really didn't want to leave.
hirez: Humppa! (Humppa!)
For the weekend, I bunked off to a campsite in Southwold with [livejournal.com profile] jarkman and a set of people mostly from Nottingham Hackspace. The weather was pretty much exactly like OHM, in that it was pleasant, then it rained enough to flood the site, then it was seriously bright with a stiff wind, dead parky and then jolly pleasant while we ate everything left over before striking camp and charging off to look round the Cold War museum at (the ex-alleged-RAF) Bentwaters.

In between that there was some drinking, pottering about, lock-picking, drinking, sunsets, a mildly-organised visit to Tim Hunkin's workshop, drinking, a tour of the Adnams brewery, crotch-fire and some more drinking.

Also a lot of driving in shit weather and a lot of queueing in shit traffic.

Southwold is really jolly good. Not unlike Whitby, but much further away. There was only one g*th, too.
hirez: (Lomo)
Booze guzzled, Who watched, etc.

For a laugh, we went to the seventies and I slept on the floor.



Further experiments with not using a Lomo.


I must admit that I don't get on with Flickr, which is why I never post any pictures on the thing. FriendFace is... Well, it transpires that there's a specific sort of photo that ends up on FF (the drunken and gurning into a flash one) and I try not to have anything to do with that sort of thing.

Traditionally, I have run my own show because I have traditionally run my own show. This should probably change, but unless $photo-host-site can be made to look like the way I display the stuff out of the 35mm gear, I'm not really interested. Perhaps I am being an irritating and arty bastard, but y'know, my cameras my rules.

Oh, and it was minus fucking twelve this morning. I saw my first diesel vehicle with a plastic feed sack tied over the radiator and everything. It really is like the seventies out there. Soon there will be tedious apocalyptic SF about the coming ice age (it was big then) and Atkinson Borderers delivering steel to places in Gloucester.

Mind, the clatter of the ABS going 'O RLY?' is probably a good thing.

Flat Eric

Apr. 21st, 2008 04:29 pm
hirez: (dissent)
I didn't so much wake up this AM as become upright and start shambling about while looking for the damp weather gear. I stopped shambling and started swearing when pushing the Courier towards the door resulted in a splop splop splop noise as the front tyre wriggled flatly on the rim.

I stuffed my officewear[1] and towel in the leaky rucksack, wrapped it the piss-yellow raincover from the pannier and steamed off into the rain on the Nice Bike instead.

Quicker, but damper. The Courier has rider and other-cyclist friendly things like a crud-catcher and a length of cardboard gaffered along the top of the carrier, which serve as good-enough mudguards. (The Audax mob will gob in yer tea if you don't fit real mudguards for the winter season) The N-B, um, doesn't. Thus I arrive in Bath with a wide streak of mud up my back where the raincover hasn't caught it and one boot full of water because I went through a large puddle on a left-hand curve, which soaked one leg of my winter strides. Through the magic of unnatural fibre, that water piddled into my boot.

Waterproof boots are great things as long as the water stays on the outside. This AM, however, I was able to perform that comedy staple of tipping a boot out in the sink.

Still, all good fun, and I think I'd rather be out in that than travelling cattle-class.


Elsewhere, this Django business is deceptively simple. Although the only good documentation is their own. The bolt-on bits are a bit 'RTFS or GTFO' .



[1] I've watched labbies spend the day clattering about in road-shoes and lycra. That's not for me, if only out of a sense of common decency and to save the eyes of the populace.
hirez: (Happy cycling)
The other week, I was mumbling distractedly here about getting some proper lights for the pushbike, given that the exciting sections of the cyclepath are unlit and/or in dank cuttings. Thus I toddled down to Avon Valley Cycles and came away with a Light and Motion Vega, which is comfortably bright enough to burn holes in cardboard. And indeed cause oncoming motorists to flash their headlights, which we'll call a right result.

Concurrent with this, the fine sorts at Edinburgh Bicycle were having a sale. Today a box arrived containing Shimano MT90 boots and a set of pedals that firmly attach to same, for a total that's rather less than the RRP of the boots.

I will now be able to fall off with confidence and be well-lit so the assembled populace will have no difficulty in both pointing and laughing.
hirez: (Cooper-Clarke)
"Mildly disturbing, our Maurice."

(But written by Alan Plater? By 'ell.)

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