Saturday, 28 February 2009

Psych board

Psych board, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

It didn't take long for the wii fit to tell me this. It was an accident, officer. I didn't mean to cause the tightrope-walker to plummet to his death!

Friday, 27 February 2009

Dwindling fire

Dwindling fire, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

So much for a quiet night. I am dwindling fire. Feel the burn. I reckon the wii board is a tachikoma variant.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Something for the Wiikend

I succumbed when I saw one of these in Asda for a good price.


However, I wasn’t tempted when I saw this in the carpark. Maybe there’s a niche for a Wii product there?

Asda carpark

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Wulverghem and Messines Window Cleaning Co

For our third game of Iron Ivan’s “Price of Glory”, I wanted a decent objective. Looking through my books, I found the linked craters in Ospreys “Fortifications of the Western Front 1914-18”. A trip to B&Q last Tuesday evening found the saw working, and a sheet of 6mm MDF was duly cut to size.



A miss-burnt CD was used as a template to cut the holes in the polystyrene, and PVA glued the cut shapes to the baseboard.



The edge was finished with masking tape, and some plaster filler was used to cover holes in the polystyrene. Strips of plaster-coated scrim (aka ‘modroc’) covered the model, and was used to shape small shell-holes and parapet.


Bish, bash, bosh, coat the lot in watered-down PVA, then a couple of coats of burnt ochre. I’ll still need to get a finish to the trenches and a final surface that I’m happy with. Good enough for a Tuesday game.


The forward base is out in ”no man’s land”. The trenchlines are merely symbolic of the relative positions. The raid happens at night. Only support weapons can, well, support the raiders and raidees.


The objective. I’ll need to make a firestep to use with the sandbags.


The coloured ‘gem’ markers (aka ‘joob-joobs’) seem to work well. Green here depicts a casualty to that unit.


With the whistle blown, the British make a dash for the crater, and a bitter mass melee ensued. There was much cursing or dice-rolls, and promises to the gods of fate.

The question I was left with was: should I, as the German player, have fired off a flare to illuminate the scene as soon as I detected the British assault? I did, but it allowed the opposition to see my positions too, unleashing a battery of Stokes mortars.

Price of board: mdf 5 boards plus offcuts = under 8 quid. Polystyrene = free. Maybe 3 quid’s worth used of paints, scrim, filler, pva. At a guess, the board cost me a fiver. It isn’t finished, but is useable.

Figures: Renegade and Great War Miniatures

(previous games)

Friday, 20 February 2009

Sorry Tim

I caught the trailer and saw Mohinder running, and I thought “I don’t care”. The last two series of Heroes were so lame that I have decided to add it to my shelved listing. The story relies on me caring, and I don’t. The big clash between heroes and criminals would have put a rookie DM to shame. On seeing the trailer I had the realisation that I was in a dead-end relationship. It had ceased swimming, and I was living in the past. Series 1 to be precise.

I can’t be bothered saying any more, so here’s my last word on the topic, courtesy of “The Stranglers” (thanks to Giohiro).

Like so much of the plot – it is obvious, really.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

1DR in WegieLand

Taking it on the chin that this Aberdeen movie slates part of the Central Belt, “One Day Removals” is being shown as part of the Glasgow Film Festival on Friday evening. Yup. Not midweek, but at a proper time.

Glasgow Film Theatre 2
Friday 20 February, 18:30
Director: Mark Stirton
Featuring: Patrick Wight, Scott Ironside

Festival Page

As mentioned in the past, the film contains an honest amount of swear words. But you’ll hear more on the city streets walking to the movie, but instead of shutting them away they are woven into the script of the labourers.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

130 Years Later

The lighting was poor, but at least the rain hadn’t come to anything. With dSLR in pack, I dodged round the growing crowds before 11am on a Sunday morning in Aberdeen. Yesterday’s recon had paid off and I could go from shot to shot with minimal fuss, and concentrate on the image in hand.

Market Cross

The Market Cross

Aberdeen Savings Bank

Aberdeen Savings Bank (in 1860), Exchange Street

Denburn Valley

Denburn Valley. The original image can be found here on Scran. Scran notes:  At the right is Belmont Congregational Church opened in 1865, and now closed. The church with the brick spire is known today as the Triple Kirks - Albion and St Paul's and East and Belmont Churches. Most of the building has now been demolished although the spire remains.

Union Bridge

Bridge Street junction had changed so much that I selected an image that showed motion, even managing a seagull plonked on the top of the old King’s head as people stand around.

I dropped the Castle Street view, and Union Terrace Gardens had changed too much to recognise.

Post-production: RawShooter.

Born of Ignorance and the Parent of Anger and Hate

As from tomorrow, this could be an act of terrorism in the UK. I have no excuse.


This is the same country that has shops with CCTV and yet no prices on their products. Where there are few police walking the street, as they are driving impersonal vehicles from one crime scene to another. Where the lawmakers seem to ignore the laws and policies of their own country, and are so distant from the citizens that they are supposed to represent, that I have really given up caring when I hear of yet another incident.

We have so many bad laws in this country, that I’ve given up caring if we have yet another vague piece of paperwork that allows the increasingly arrogant lawmakers to allow the security forces to do what they want – one would hope it is what they need, but I doubt it. What is needed to protect our security? Curfew? ID tags? Barcodes tattooed onto our arms? Retinal scans via CCTV to log our shop browsing patterns?

The Law

After section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 (collection of information) insert—

“58A Eliciting, publishing or communicating information about members of armed forces etc

(1)A person commits an offence who—

(a)elicits or attempts to elicit information about an individual who is or has been—

  (i)a member of Her Majesty’s forces,

  (ii)a member of any of the intelligence services, or

  (iii)a constable,

which is of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, or

(b)publishes or communicates any such information.

Source: Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 (c. 28) Part 7

And note this well: (2) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that they had a reasonable excuse for their action.

Yes – our lawmakers think that we citizens need an EXCUSE – not a reason – for our actions. I am INNOCENT until you prove that I am Guilty – not until I give you an EXCUSE to find me Innocent.

We deserve better from our government. The security services need a democracy and a citizenry worthy of protection – not to be seen as potential criminals. I don’t think I will be voting for Gordon Brown again.

I wonder if STV will be pulling “Doctors and Nurses at War” from the schedules on Tuesday night? It tells the names of military personnel - faithful in adversity - where they work, and shows general locations of their homes and families.


Set to become law on 16 February, the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 amends the Terrorism Act 2000 regarding offences relating to information about members of armed forces, a member of the intelligence services, or a police officer.

The British Journal of Photography

Media Event: “I’m a Photographer … not a Terrorist” Hosted by the National Union of Journalists and supported by the British Journal of Photography and the British Press Photographers’ Association. New Scotland Yard, Broadway, Westminster, London SW1H, UK. Monday 16 February 2009. 11am.

Marc Vallée - PhotoJournalist

Tallis is a member of the National Union of Journalists and the British Press Photographers' Association. 'The incident lasted just 10 seconds, but you don't expect a police officer to try to pull your camera from your neck,' Tallis tells BJP.

The incident came less than a week after it was revealed that an amateur photographer was stopped in Cleveland by police officers when taking pictures of ships. The photographer was asked if he had any terrorism connections and told that his details would be kept on file.

The British Journal of Photography

This legislation would appear to be yet another chilling move by the UK in encouraging harassment of photographers. Last year you might remember that the London Metropolitan Police launched a very public advertising campaign asking people to turn in “odd” looking photographers.

Thomas Hawk’s Digital Connection

QuantcastFear is the only true enemy, born of ignorance and the parent of anger and hate.”

Waiting for Opening Time

I was running a little early, so stopped off by the Dee on my way to get some MDF cut at B&Q. As I had my camera with me for the later project, I snapped a couple of shots. Okay, so I took 11. (maplink)


I hadn’t packed the 55-200mm lens, as I would be taking wider-angle shots. So this was with the 18-55mm lens on the Canon EOS350D.


Sun plays on the River Dee, highlighting an empty park bench.

Ai-yah. Tyen-ah

I found this when browsing for something else on YouTube. I laughed as Alan Tudyk edited the eulogy for Wash.

Good post, SkyRyder.

And another find: Firefly-Serenity Chinese Pinyinary

Snow day 12

Snow day 12, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

Up early to get to b+q and then back across town to get photos taken before town gets busy. The diy store was a washout as the machine that cuts boarding into areas i can use for modelling projects was out of service. Heading back east, traffic was already building up at 930, with people speeding past and nipping in and out of lanes. I got back (after giving up waiting for Next to open on time) and headed up town, retracing my steps with my dslr.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Urban Recon

Thanks to some kind people at work, I have started the British Computer Society’s “DigitalCre8or” Award. For a digital stills assignment, I have decided on 3 images that show the changes in Aberdeen. Trite, I know, but what the heck.

I raided Scran for some early photos of Aberdeen City centre. And went out with printouts in my pocket and tried to find where the images were taken from. I’ll head out tomorrow with the dSLR and hope to get better shots.

Market Cross1880s

Scran notes for The Market Cross c.1880:  For many years public whipping, branding and the burning of seditious literature was carried beneath its shadow. In 1842 following numerous complaints about congestion at the west end of the Castlegate, the Market Cross was moved to its present site.

Castle Street 1880s

Scran notes: View of Castle Street, Aberdeen (looking east) by George Washington Wilson … A single line of tram rails curving round into King Street dates this view to post-1874. By the end of the 19th century the appearance of the east end of Castle Street had changed completely: James Gordon's former premises had been demolished to make way for the Salvation Army Citadel which still occupies the site today.

Exchange Street c1860

Looking down an unassuming back street counting building stories on both sides of the street. The arched openings, and projecting stonework at the end of the building confirm the target. (maplink)

Aberdeen Savings Bank c1860

Scran notes: Aberdeen Savings Bank was founded in 1815 and had conducted its business in small offices until 1858,
when this building was opened, on the 1st July, in Exchange Street.

Union Bridge c1880

Scran notes of Statue of Albert, Prince Consort at Union Bridge, Aberdeen, c.1880: A lone cabbie waits at the stance under the solemn gaze of Albert, the Prince Consort, whose statue stood at the corner of Union Street and Union Terrace until 1911. After the widening of Union Bridge, the statue was moved to a site at the end of the Terrace while that of King Edward VII was erected at the junction.

Union Terrace Gardens c1880

Scran notes to Union Terrace Gardens, Aberdeen showing the Bandstand, c.1880: In 1876, Aberdeen Town Council agreed to turn the wooded bank of Corby Haugh and the bleachgreens beside the railway line into a pleasure ground for the people of Aberdeen. Work began on the laying out of Union Terrace Gardens in 1877 and the park was officially opened the following year.

The more things change, the more some things stay the same. 130-140 years after the original photo was taken, and now covered in snow, an adult and child still play in the Gardens; taxis still ply their trade; people go into shops near the Cross; and the bank … well, it is probably worth more now that it is residential.

Snow day 11

Snow day 11, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

Text to follow

Snow Day 10

Snow Day 10, originally uploaded by dimacleod.
Despite prolonged snow falls yesterday, a lot didn't lie. The low temperature overnight meant that some untreated paths were very slippery, but gritted pavements seemed better to me. One ungritted pavement was coated in black ice. My pre-valentine's day treat to the ladies in my baseroom was spoilt by the garage having nothing suitable. I turned down pink car tools and chrome hair clippers, and got a laugh buying 7 strawberry yoghurts.

Friday, 13 February 2009


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Civil War in Pairc

A bitter dispute ensued, until the mission house furniture and the missionary’s cow were burnt and twelve hens belonging to a Lemreway resident who had sided with the missionary were decapitated. Later a bull in the village died in mysterious circumstances...

Read the full story here

Need a location map? Click here.

Snow day 9 again

Snow day 9 again, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

It stopped snowing mid-afternoon. On the way home from work i noticed that nelson street's pavement had been gritted. Huzzah. Getting home i find a packet of renegade miniature ww1 28mm german infantry waiting for me. Ordered in their sale, i now have 24 rifles to paint before the next game else there will be no 2nd assault wave.

Snow day 9

Snow day 9

Some pavements are clearer after the grit, others like this have not been touched. It has been snowing continually since 8am. Now 1030am. Don't know if it is lying tho.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Snow day 8 again

Snow day 8 again, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

It snowed again. All the way across the north sea. It was strange to see ships at sea disappearing into the approaching cloud front.

How Time Flies

I think the tie still fits me.


Under the terms of the Geneva Convention, I am not permitted to show old photos of other people. So a lady I knew from the 1980’s was comically upset when I sent her a photo of her from 1985. So just to cheer you up, here’s one of me, fresh out of college, having finally graduated, and threatening Aberdeen Council with court action.

I’ve been having a dabble with Picasa 3 from Google to see if it is worth recommending for work.

Snow day 8

Snow day 8, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

First siting of pavement gritting. After a joke on northsound2 made light of the absence of pavement gritting, i was pleased to see some grit out after a light covering of fresh snow.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Test from mobile

Test from mobile, originally uploaded by dimacleod.


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Snow day 7

Snow day 7

The met office recorded 0'c as the warmest temperature in last 24 hours. No fresh snow. Tnf hedgehogs rulez.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Snow day 6

Snow day 6

With temperatures reported down to -12'c, busses breaking down and car door locks freezing, it is a joy to hear a local councillor say that all that can be done to grit pavements has been done. The chap went on to say that all the city folk needed to do was to contact their road engineers. (source - northsound2 news at 0700). I trust my tnf hedgehogs in this weather.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Snow day 5

Snow day 5

I think "the day after tomorrow" had wolf packs instead of seagulls. I had doped up on cold medicine for a trek into town to get a wii fit board. None found, but plenty of the accessories for it. Got bag of fresh fruit and fish on way home.


Einzel Kocher Prototyping

I was kindly sent a couple of the Einzel Kocher prototypes a few weeks back, and have been in discussion with the manufacturer. I won’t be showing the videos of the tests, as they are of unfinished prototypes, but here are some stills.

Einzel Kocher

Einzel Kocher

Einzel Kocher

Which was why I was down the beach a few weekends back.

Einzel Kocher Stoves

New woodburning stoves now available from Einzel Kocher.



Saturday, 7 February 2009

Day 4 - ice, sun, snow

Day 4 - ice, sun, snow, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

Stuck in with cold. So can only say what i saw as i dozed up on the fresh fruit i got on the way home yesterday. Some fresh snow this morning, then some sun and then some more snow as night fell. Now a clear sky overhead. But who knows what tomorrow will bring.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Day 3 - snow

Day 3 - snow, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

Snow arrives again, delivered by big swirly thing on satellite map. We get word of early weekend. Traffic is bad. Hey ho.

Day 3 - ice

Day 3 - ice, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

The snow that fell again yesterday has frozen over. The tnf hedgehogs are giving great traction control.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Snow day 2

Snow day 2, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

No mention on bbc radio 4. I listen for an hour. All is fine. I leave the flat at 0745 and walk into a blizzard of a snow-velcro mix. Over 67 schools closed. Some roads outside aberdeen closed or disrupted.