Monday, 31 December 2007

Goodbye to All That

Well, if I don't see you again, have a good one. Here's the finale for 2007 from one of the best TV series of the year: "Scotland's Music", Auld Lang Syne to the tune that Burns had written it to originally. If the link doesn't work, you'll have to go through the main site.





So, I finally get round to playing with the manual settings of the point-and-click camera, settling for 1/50th second exposures at f/4.5. I found that quicker shutter speeds would only show what was happening at that moment in time, and not the light trails. I found it more enjoyable than normal.

The lower shot is one of those ghostly images taken from a phone-camera, when 2 of the 3 folk decide to move off in different directions.



So, me and the nephew jumped in the car, and raced the afternoon sunlight to the top of the island. For some reason, the  main road heads to Port of Ness, rather than the top bit, the Butt of Lewis. I had missed it in the past, so was not being caught out this time. Maybe it is tactical, considering the history between the Morrisons of Ness and the MacLeods of Lewis. maplink


The sunlight was causing a problem, as the cliffs were in shadow, but it did give the opportunity to catch some sharp light on the rocks.


And maybe the most lonely-looking pigeon on the island?


We shifted positions further north of the lighthouse, but the best exposure was this one of the Moon-scape, where the sea has eroded the land away. A discussion with the lad lead to a drive south to Eoropaidh. Maplink


I should have put money on the sun not setting in the sea - I would have won.


As we arrived, a chap who was leaving noted that it was like a picture-postcard. I bit back a reply "so...why aren't you staying for the sunset?". More photons for me.





The only tech stuff was a change in lens from 18-55mm to 55-200mm for some of the shots. No filters used, though I did do some post-production work on the images to enhance the colour levels. Originals available upon request.

Sunday, 30 December 2007

FMAO Point

With the good-living parents at the kirk, me and my nephew headed down to Point to get some snaps. Half of the panorama shots are his...though all of the splicing is mine (he cunningly had other things to be doing instead of the hard computer graft).

Sutherland Hills

Click on the above picture to get a full-size panorama of the Sutherland hills. The shots were taken near the old Tiumpan Head light house (map link). Assistance on splicing photographs from

Sutherland hill

One of the hills can be seen in detail after I changed to the 200mm lens. As to its name, not until I get a chance to check my maps and books.


We shifted back to the Braigh for the last shot, before heading home to a cooked breakfast. Maplink - exposure includes the Shiants, and Lochs headlands to the right.

Saturday, 29 December 2007

Out of Doors 29.12.07

Last of the year from Radio Scotland's "Out of Doors" - compilation show. One of the sgoth boats was featured. I snapped one in the October break. They have a singer-in-residence during their clip.


Dangling a reporter from a tree, and then elephant-spotting in Aberdeen. Off to the Skye. Other reports, and the usual fun mickey-taking between clips.

Friday, 28 December 2007

Pancake Cooker

Saw this, and thought of Darren. Hmm...pancakes.

Never Mind the Quality

I'm ashamed to have played around with EgoSurf - well, isn't the whole point about forums, blogs, picture sharing, and the whole communication just one big ego trip anyway? Anyway, I clocked up 8216 points, ranking 2nd.

In comparison, Scott Kelby, who's books sell well on Amazon, who has blog and website, and video podcast. Who does lots with Photoshop and show people how to get better photographs, well, he scored 1495, and ranked nowhere.

Obviously, the site ignores quality. It's not even fun, like Google Fight. Ah, that's more like it. I know my place.

Thursday, 27 December 2007

FMAO Callanish


Sunset at Callanish. Maplink.

So, the rain stopped, my migraine lifted after looking at the bright sky for the first time in days, and I headed to Callanish (insert your own Gaelic spelling, cove). There were a few folk there, and what surprised me was that few were taking pictures of the sun on the stones. But, maybe they were.


I think I'm just being a snob, but why don't people wait for about 15 minutes-30 minutes for the light to change?


Especially if it has taken them a while to get there? But that's just me I'm in my warm hiking gear (hmm, can't wait to get the down jacket from Alpkit in the New Year - toasty), and I'm taking snaps of this and that.


Above:  Original JPG version of shot. Below: Same shot, where the original RAW version has been edited using my Christmas present of Scott Kelby's "7 Point System". Cropped to remove half a stone, and some foreground for a panorama shot.


And there was no-one else taking photos of the sunset. Ach well, there'll be another sunset tomorrow. And it's not my concern.


Previous visit: July 2007

Radio4 Cairngorms

One for the listen again feature - catching part of the Radio 4 prog from the Cairngorms. Reindeer with Tilly Smith and then the MWIS chap and glenmore forest. I noticed yesterday that Braemar gets missed out - maybe cos it's easier for broadcarters to travel to the more popular side, Aviemore side. 5 mins left of prog, maybe it'll be different.

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Post-Christmas Shopping

Not really part of a New Years resolution, but tried buying an Alpkit Filo to find the payment timed out, so I'll give them a phone tomorrow.

There's not really any kit I'm short of - sleeping bag goes to -3'c, plus I can wear clothes inside the bag, and put jackets over the top.

It's more knowledge and activity I'm after for 2008. The eternal struggle to find a stove that isn't gas, but as good as gas...hmm - well, i don't like sparks flying, and got that with meths. A woodburner might be nice, but again, a loose spark means no cooking inside the flysheet. As I'm no winter mountaineer, I think gas is the best option I have. Others have their own preferences, and their own styles.

And I think that is what's happened to me in 2007. My second season's been a settling of styles. I don't care about tarps, as I'm not willing to sleep in one (midges, ticks, wolves). I can use my sleeping bag as a quilt by opening the zip, so I use the same down bag all year round (the weather can turn rapidly). My Scarpa ZG65's fit well, and I've not had a chance to try out the Namches as illness set in soon after I got them (coincidence) - it's also a matter of trust - I trust the Scarpas, but need to build up trust in the Namches.

Duncan on side of Carn an Tuirc

I suppose it's all part of the learning curve. I bought gear in 2005 because it was cheap, or some reviewer in Trail gave it a good write-up. Then I replaced gear as I found I was hiking in different terrain from the reviews. A post-trek review of what gear or skill had let me down, and then I'd investigate the options. Often involving reading on Outdoors Magic (the best forum for that at the time), and in TGO (the best magazine for that at the time). I think it helps that Chris Townsend hikes in much the same terrain that I've been in, and I've learnt to trust his wisdom. His book, "The Backpacker's Handbook" has been well-thumbed over the few years I've owned it.

For me, now, it is more of an appreciation of the outdoors. The thoughts of our ancestors who lived there. I've discovered that I can live there for a few days, hike across the country without it being a big military expedition - heck, it is Scotland, not Ooter Mongolia. If the reivers, cateran and drovers could manage it, then why not me.

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Festive Greetings


Monday, 24 December 2007

Festive Freebie

IMG_5383-02z - online jigsaw puzzle - 40 pieces

Click on the image to play the festive game.

Crecy - Some Roadtrip

One of the chaps pointed me towards this vidclip

Crécy 1346/2007

Hmm...self-sufficiency and lightweight hiking - is this what Crinkles is aiming for?

Advent Calendar: Finale

As there's no Day 25, I quickly created an imagemap to link all of George's Lego movies together. Not having access to a photo of the original box, I snaffled one from ReasonablyClever's site - go visit, he's working on Firefly in Lego (sing the song)!

Online Advent Calendar

George's blog

George's YouTube channel

Hear George's interview (Podzine 17/12/07)

Christopher Doyle's Serenity project, and his L'il Ego trip

Sun, Land, Water

Yup, I just love the interplay of Nature and if I can catch it with my camera, then I can share it. Maybe not great, but, sod it, at least I'm there. I'm getting over my kit envy, as I notice more people with flashy dSLRs...and then I see that many are using them as flashy, expensive point-and-click cameras. I've my phone camera and my old Sony camera for that. I want more from the dSLR, a decent ROI, if you will. Buying the Akto allowed me to go out longer and further, so I did. Buying the Canon entices me to obtain better, more thoughtful photographs, so I hope to live up to its expectations.


RAW shot adjusted in RAWshooter. Decided against cropping out foreshore. f/4. ISO 100. 55mm. Polarising filter, tripod, softshell.


And this boat just seemed to have a festive name. Reminded me of a reindeer washed up on the shore.


TOS Podzine 24.12.07

Bob's Christmas Eve podcast is up in iTunes now (and will be on The Outdoors Station shortly). He's being all festive, walking out with Andy Howell and visiting the pub of the year with the ladies, Rose and Kate.

Review of year. Global warming. Consolidating gear in 2007, nothing outstanding (year of the tarp for Andy). No TGOC podcast from Bob and Andy in 2008, as they didn't get accepted for the Challenge. Ireland. Cycle camping (Sustrans network). Sea kayaks with Simon Willis. The value of visitors to local communities, especially trails (England/Wales, Scotland).

Off to the Nags Head in Malvern with the ladies. No smoke, nice smells. The social side of the Challenge. Christmas and New Year wishes to listeners.

But...the weekly podzine is on hold for a couple of months. Longer programmes will be released at irregular intervals.


My Notes: Perhaps VisitScotland could get off their backside and see that these shows promote visitors to Scotland. Like Donald Trump, they're planning to go elsewhere.

Only 50 people entered the competition. Well done to the winner. But does the number of entrants reflect listeners interest? Probably not.

For the record, both of the prizes that I won have been given away - and not even as cheap Christmas presents! The cap to Darren, and the Colin Prior calendar as a house-warming gift to my brother in Blair Atholl.

It would be a shame if that was the last one, but it takes a lot of his time, and that's time away from his shop. I suppose that is a problem with these sorts of ventures - they have to be funded somehow. It's the old three-legged stool of time, quality and money.

Best wishes to one and all involved, I listened to all the podzines, and enjoyed them all.

Sunday, 23 December 2007

What's a High Skool?

cash advance

Iz dat gud?

Lego Advent Calendar pt4

And into the final straits, George is keeping up the massive challenge of producing regular short stop-motion movies.

Links: YouTube channel and blog

Her Off the Telly

Nice to see Claire MacLeod's blog: It's off the back of her and Dave's online shop (yes, that Dave). Where else can you buy someone a year's supply of chocolate?

Mmm, chocolate. Sorry, distracted there - Claire's also got photos of her recent Landward tv slots on Scottish hill names (some of the vids can be viewed there). Similar slot to the one Euan McIlwraith does on Out of Doors, but I reckon Claire could beat him to the summit any day. And still have breath to record the piece.

Citizen What?

From 13th November 2007:

The National Union for Journalists (NUJ) has admitted its first full-time freelance professional blogger as a member.
Conrad Quilty-Harper, who blogs for technology blog Engadget, had his application for membership approved at a meeting of the NUJ’s London Freelance branch last night, Tim Gopsill, editor of The Journalist, confirmed to
Harper was invited to attend the freelance meeting where his application was passed after he was initially rejected by the union for being a student on a non-media course.


And earlier, on the 25th October 2007:

Guardian media blogger and former Daily Mirror editor Roy Greenslade is quitting the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), because of the organisation's attitude towards new media.
Greenslade, who has been a member of the union for 42 years, announced his resignation on his blog and said it would be 'hypocritical' to remain a NUJ member 'when I am now so opposed to the union's central aims'.
In his post Greenslade said the group's policies needed to be updated to accommodate the growth of online journalism: "Journalistic skills are not entirely wiped out in an online world, but…they cannot be confined any longer to an exclusive élite group."
Explaining his decision Greenslade suggested that while the NUJ sees the internet as a threat to journalism 'it [the web] is much more a threat to the union itself.'
"[T]he union, as with the print unions of old, cannot possibly adapt to meet the revolutionary demands of a new technology," his blog post said.


Interesting times indeed. Anyone fancy a Diet of Worms? In the same way that professional photographers have been affected by sites like Flickr, cheap dSLRs and people willing to put the time and effort in to try and improve their skills, then journalism must also be affected. It comes to reason, that as news becomes more speculative, exclusives are not exclusives, the tv news complains when people rebroadcast their feeds but happily show YouTube videos without stating that they have the owner's permission. What really separates the paid journalist from the citizen journalist? Time, effort, money, resources, skills in obtaining the news, a talent for language. Some have skills and talent, others one or the other - just like in any job. Is every citizen a journalist? No. Is everyone who owns a camera a photographer? No. In days past, eyewitnesses to events would only be able to describe the event, now they have videos and still photos, some have been keeping blogs instead of written diaries.

In a knowledge-lead society, do we need to be able to distinguish between facts and opinions. Is a review in a magazine opinion or fact? Are comments left about a piece of software factual or trite nonsense left by a competitor? Only the knowledgeable reader can judge. But where do they learn that judgement from? No-one seems to be teaching online citizenship these days.

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."  Mahatma Gandhi (source)

Are bloggers looking for a fight? I amn't. What is victory? I don't know. Anyone can use the same quote when they feel that they are being oppressed. Do I feel that bloggers are being oppressed? Wise up. Blogs are merely a medium. The person behind the computer is the important cog in the Web2.0 wheel. In our own mind, we are important. We are important to our families and friends. We matter. Does what we have to say about the world matter? Probably not. But we are social animals, we have brains and can think. So why not use the tools available to us to be sociable, to think and to converse. Geography, social class, skin colour, cultural background, age, gender, physical abilities and religion are less important than your ability to be a sentient human being. If you refuse to think, to reason, to discuss, to create, then you are an empty shell of a being.

Maybe that is what scares some in the media? A lot is just boring, brainless drivel, re-hashing old news, cutting back on investing in investigative journalism, and making decent programmes for television. If there is only so much happening in the world, but news has to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, why can't there be more detailed, in-depth news? Maybe because we, the recipient, have no time for it? In the Information Age, there is a growing divide - the news reflects this. There are just too many channels for their to be a good standard of quality programmes. Will this change in the future? I don't know, but can guess that there will be an increase in the number of niche channels.

For the record, my main sources of news are: BBC News website, Radio 4's Today programme, Radio 4 news (especially midnight), Newsnight, Channel 4 news.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Visit Scotland


Visit Scotland before it's covered in turbines and pylons all feeding the urban wild places. But businesses will need laws that enshrine the protection of the places that tourists come to see. Without considering the loss of revenue to regions, the true costs of the industrial vandalism is being ignored. Thankfully we have a government in Scotland with an environment minister who sounded keen on protecting the outdoors. Considerate planning is needed, not bullying and underhand dealings. No? In which case, i'm planning an expedition to set up a trading post in Central America, anyone care to invest? ;-)




Latest HSE Warning

Beware the ...


Media link

No Alladale bothy

Reading the Mountain Bothies Association newsletter, they report that the Alladale bothy has been taken back by the estate. Any howls heard in the area just now will be from tourists - for that is what hillwalkers are - and not the wolves.

In the slogan that seems to being mentioned by the current Scottish leadership: Scotland is open for business. As is the improved Corrour bothy. It is ready for you to do your business too.

CG Highlands


So, i'm watching this chap wi his d?SLR camera, taking shots of the hill. I think that i could do something with that view. Intensify the clouds, turn it into a really dramatic photo, instead of the Force 6 westerly coming in from the, err, west. But the view doesn't exist in real life. It would be a construct. So why not just build the scene from some computer elements? At what point does modifying the shot taken become an exercise it the creative manipulation of the image? Should photographers list their manipulations as a matter of course? I think of these things when it is cold, heats up the brain.

Torchwood: all at sea


It's the navy lark, with Cap St Jacques. Left hand down a bit, Lt Owen. In this week's episode, leading seaman Pertwee builds his own cyberlady, but gets the instructions wrong, and ends up with a cyberladdy. Featuring the real voice of David Tennant.

Media Links - BBC7, NLAS

Out of Doors 22.12

Singing from Inverurie Rotary glee club. Casual pets: feeding birds, aniseed attracts birds. Environment minister, Mike Russell, interviewed - his job is taking him to parts of Scotland he'd never been to before. Rediscovering environmental culture. Cairngorm ski patrol. Weather report "Och come on" she banters as he adds sound effects. Barbecue in BBC car park. Beaver burger? Article about reintroduction of beaver in Argyll. Skiing in a kilt. Snow all year round in Scotland (aye, i saw that in summer below Braeriach). Christmas walks organised by the Ramblers assoc. Exits to "walking in a winter land" and sausages sizzling.


Cheers up a drive where temp went from -5'c to +5'c in 30mins.



Info for both photos: f/5.6. Exp 8 sec. RAW images balanced for effect. Loch Glascarnoch.

Friday, 21 December 2007

Can Mr JLB Matekoni Fix It?

Sadly, the news from Botswana is that the Nr 1 Ladies Detective Agency will not be ready for showing until Easter. Source. Although the BBC press release says Winter 2008. An article from the BBC News on the 4th of December said it was going to be a Winter highlight.

Perhaps we can commission Mma Ramotswe to find the answer to the mystery? Or Moo Moo Ramotswe? [plaque]

Previous post


Fun video channel on YouTube. I'll need to catch some more over the festive break.

Keeping it real



We're n ur headz making u hummm a fairytale of new yorkzzz

Blog Agrees to Close

Press release:

Apple and Think Secret have settled their lawsuit, reaching an agreement that results in a positive solution for both sides. As part of the confidential settlement, no sources were revealed and Think Secret will no longer be published. Nick Ciarelli, Think Secret's publisher, said "I'm pleased to have reached this amicable settlement, and will now be able to move forward with my college studies and broader journalistic pursuits." Source

The BBC News writes:

Apple is notoriously secretive about forthcoming products and it sued Think Secret claiming that bloggers should not enjoy the same rights to protect sources granted to mainstream journalists.

A California court initially sided with Apple but the hi-tech firm lost the case on appeal. The outcome of that said bloggers should be considered as journalists and subject to the same protections.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) aided Think Secret in its legal fight to stop Apple forcing it to reveal its sources.

"I hope that Apple takes from this that it is neither useful nor wise to sue its fans," said Kurt Opsahl, an attorney for the EFF.

Full story and historical links.

From the BBC in April 2005:

The information appeared on three Apple enthusiast websites, PowerPage, Apple Insider and Think Secret. Source

Ah well.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Adopt a WebCam: Loch Glascarnoch

The suggestion has been made that people can adopt a webcam. I've bagsied the Met Office's webcam at Loch Glascarnoch.

Here's it in daylight (October 07).


Here's a view from it just now.

slot2 (c) Met Office

Webcam link. Map link.

Previous related posts:

Creativity in the Real World

Emma fumbled inside her pack looking for her passport, she knew it was in there somewhere. Her pensive look turned to worry, her eyes trying to avoid contact as she handed the check-in desk attendant a British Passport covered in shampoo. Andrea tried to resist but the smirk on her face soon turned to laughter as she pulled her passport out of its slinky bag.



Dave had plenty of mates, but most of them were into either surfing or skating. Hanging out down the local skate park had started to become embarrassing, technical fleeces had their place but here wasn't one of them. Putting aside his ultralite techspec micro fleece, he went in search of the answer.



I have had a lot to live up to. I was the sensible one, cast in a mould and the one most likely to succeed. Even so I had my own agenda, if I was going to stand on the shoulders of giants I sure was going to have some competitive advantages. You see, I am the sensible one and you need to have a back up plan, a soft landing if you like.



I like the imagination of these people. Instead of dull, standard descriptions, Alpkit have written some fun stories about their products. Kudos for showing imagination and creative flair.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Sofa... so Star

Starwatching the lazy way. Went to Met Office's Loch Glascarnoch webcam and just had a wonderful time. And here's how to do it properly.


A belter from Aviemore.


Off to the TrafficScotland site next. Where we had a Most Haunted experience.


Well done to the folk at these respective organisations for fitting webcams so we can see our fine country. Huzzah for Scotland. Heuch.

Funniest thing this week

The Adventure Show 19.12.07

OMM in the Lowther Hills...spend an uncomfortable night in a tent...start of race... Mike Parsons making lightweight gear...interesting idea about the lighter weights for older people ... Cameron McNeish at the Cobbler...outdoor couples...Old Man of Stoer climbed by Karen Darke, paralysed from chest down...back to start of day 2 of OMM, inov8 gear on show...bailing out tents after very wet night...Moffat - where the BBC don't say the name of the Islay malt being tasted by Duncan McCallum...Glen Affric's pine forest and beasties...finish of OMM race. Well done folks.

Official Site

Show'll be on Radio Scotland in February (at the current Out of Doors slot). And a trailer for the Cairngorms programme on Boxing Day.

What I Blog

Carrying on this infrequent series (how, why), here's what I blog.

Christmas Homework

By allowing (if not encouraging) people to channel-hop their way through online/remote social networks, are we encouraging the decline of the nation state by allowing people to ignore their physical society?


Why Blog? Why?

Why are we blogging? I've previously covered the "How", so here is the "why". Why? Blogs are simply a format for creating a mini-website. This website allows you,the blogger, to write about things, to post photographs, videos, music that you have created, things that have caught your interest. It is your online presence.

If social networking sites just allow people to see what music you are listening to, films you've seen and the like, then that is similar to someone looking at your house. They see the physical side of you, but not you yourself. Blogging allows you to put your feelings out there, to show that you are a sentient human being, with hopes and expectations, good times and bad. You can write about what you see, what you feel about books you have read, or movies you have seen.

The empathy that writing about personal issues (but not too personal) allows people to be people. Instead of looking at the possessions, you can get a better idea of what the person is like.

With forums, chatrooms, and other community communications services, you can interact with other people. It is like a park for people with similar attitudes. With blogs, you can leave comments, and ask the person questions, or answer their questions. It is like a chill-out space. Less noise.

Everything in a blog is customisable, so the blogger has more control over what the reader sees. This allows more control that you get in most other mediums. You have little control over the appearance of forums, as they are community affairs. You post what you post, and you take responsibility for it. You are a 'citizen journalist', rather than one part of a commune.

The blog format allows many types of media to be incorporated, and the list is growing. This allows even more of your personality to come through. If you are bad with writing words, then use photographs or music instead. Communication is the important issue. You have a story to tell, and you need to find a way to communicate that to others. Whether that story is a small story - a bus that is always late - or a big story - being arrested by the police - someone else may be interested. Even if no-one is, you can always look back at your own blog and see what you were thinking at the time you wrote it.

Blogs are timed pieces of your life. They show what you were like at that moment. Isn't that priceless?

This was going to be a piece about the future of blogging, and the advantages of RSS feeds instead of the reader having to search for information, but I couldn't be bothered with that. If you want to see these things for yourself, look here:

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Scotland's Music Finale

A gentle, but well-travelled finale to Phil Cunningham's "Scotland's Music" series on BBC2. Travelling from the camel-riding pipe band in Oman, to Donegal/Ireland, to Cape Breton in Canada and down to the USA. There he plays Carnegie Hall with Johnny Cash's daughter, Rosanne - in an interesting experiment, they have composed a tune and took it to play blue-grass style in Tennessee. At one Scots/US festival, there deep-fried Snickers bars being sold.

Official Website

Well done to all involved. I wasn't going to watch it when I saw the initial trailers, now I'm glad that I did. An excellent addition to my growing cultural dvd library.

Aberdeen Sunset

As the sun sets over the silvery city it seems to set afire shiny surfaces randomly across the vista.

Monday, 17 December 2007

Podzine 17.12.07

In this Bob's radio show - for that is what these podzines effectively are -  he interviews Judy Armstrong (the non-TGO one...even though she has been printed in TGO). I like the comment about fitting in with the environment, something to empathise with. Some gripping stories and advice.

The Podzine 17/12/07

Download MP3 File

"Meet the bloggers" - online outdoors bloggers...Andy Howell met some of them at The Outdoors Show (March 2007)....what makes them tick...anonymous audiences...prominent bloggers in UK/Europe...starts with George "London Backpacker" WrongSurname. Sense of community, cor blimey, apple n pears, in'it, see it like an evening paper, no rubbish in there....started with a website, but photographs and comments...I have things to getting my view across...fousands of people writing to magazine and time delay...writing openly to a certain degree...more and more ...real-time blogging (Alan Sloman eating n drinking his way across country)...experiencing outdoors wiffout being outdoors.

John Hee - communickate with outdoors community. Putting something back. Love of the outdoors - trying to express it. Fellowship (distracted by woman skating by). Positive community. Individuality like in biker community. Good natured rivalry. Strewth. Taking of each other. Interacting with outdoors. Difference in experience levels. Keeping our own interests alive. Enjoys writing. Say what, when, how I like - if I say wrong things...entertaining, informative, sharing. Getting away from technology when out in hills.

Some of the above comments may not have actually been said by those involved exactly as I've written it.

Weblog 10 Years Old

The term "weblog" celebrates its 10th birthday today.

Ego Trip: The Music Video

Caught this on Net@Nite: Bubble2.0 by The Richter Scales.

Here's the news as to why some of the links on the page don't work:

A hit YouTube video that parodied Silicon Valley's Web 2.0 gold rush has been taken down, launching a freelance photographer and an amateur choral group into an internet-fueled copyright dispute.

The clever clip, produced by San Francisco Bay Area a cappella group Richter Scales, mixed original imagery with photos found online, all set to the bouncy tune of Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire." It garnered hundreds of thousands of views before it was taken down Tuesday by YouTube due to a copyright claim by a photographer who's image was used in the video.

The source article on is interesting. And I concur wholeheartedly with the comments made by the lawyer.

Check the laws dealing with intellectual property rights first - just because a photo is on a photo-sharing site doesn't mean that you can do whatever you want to do with it.

So, you can play the music via the podcast, but don't watch the video (which is why I haven't linked to the video).

They Were Who We Are

"They Were Who We Are". I heard those words on Saturday night when listening to a Garrison Keillor podcast from Lake Wobegon (November 17, 2007). I was so taken by his turn of phrase that I listened to the podcast again.

Then I thought of the sort of post that would go with the phrase: "They Were Who We Are". This is it. Just a collection of links to places where you can see, hear and read about the past of Scotland and the UK. For free.

I've ignored collections that are limited to educational institutes only. it should be obvious why I've done that.

"He who controls the past, controls the future" George Orwell. Look into your own past. It will help you in your own future. For some it will come as a disappointment to realise that you are as fickle or as steadfast as your ancestors. They too suffered and partied. Spoke about their hopes for the future. Had their dreams. Had their problems. Thought they were unique, and of an age that would never come again.

"They Were Who We Are"

Sunday, 16 December 2007

FlashBack nr1


Lego Advent Calendar pt3

George must be churning these out quicker than I eat fish suppers! A comment I left the other day has made it into the skit for Day 16. What an ego trip!

George's YouTube channel - the syllabus is very useful if you are studying or planning to study for the course.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Fun in the Sand


Just as i started to pack up, two chaps started setting up their kite buggies. The cold had drained one battery and i was at the last few shots of the 2gig memory card. No problem, as i had spares of both with me. Switching to 1600iso, and handheld, i wonder how the shots will turn out. I gave one of the flyers my bloggercard so he could contact me for a set off the photos. It was the least i could do in return for an entertaining and dramatic photo session.






























Thanks chaps.

Due to speeds, ISO1600 used (I tried a few at ISO800 but they came out blurred). Aperture F5.6. Settings reflect the aim of one story to tell, and that's with a fast-moving subject. Shooting in RAW, I filled a 2gig card. In 45 minutes.