August 17, 2009

Haynes motor museum

When I had my b'day (magical age of 35... 50% of my expected lifespan gone!), my dad was visiting me in P'head. We decided to go to the Haynes Motor museum. I'd never been there, and he certainly hasn't seen it either. It's near the Air Fleet Arms Museum in Yeovilton (also a very impressive museum). I decided to play with my phone, running google maps as satnav whilst going there. Due to sunshine, the glare pretty much obscured my view of the display, so on the way up there, I had to pull over to double check the route. as it turned out we were still on route, so we continued. It took us about an hour to get there going via Street. On teh way back I had it calculate a route again, but this time it chose another route for some reason. It took us over one way dirt roads in the middle of nowhere!!! It took us quite a bit longer to get to the motorway, where there was another performance of the most popular activity "old-english queueing on the motorway". And like with every damn queue in thsi country, it was caused by nothing. That' sright, nothing at all. well, basically that means incompetency of drivers, who like hitting their brakes really hard, especially when it starts raining (seems like in the UK people get really scared to drive these days when they drive their ginormous 4x4 and a drizzle starts).
Anyway, the museum was quite interesting, though really quite limited when it comes to providing some explanations. It started off interesting with some of replicas of the very first combustion engine powered cars ever made, followed by "the red room", which was basically a hall with only red sports cars. Ferrari's lambo's, MG's, morgans, mazerati's, etc etc. They had a special exhibition for the mini.
All in all the collection was really very impressive indeed!
There was one downside I think. The museum was basically a couple of sheds filled with cars. There were some motorcycles, but there was no explanation of anything at all, except for the signs that identified the cars (including some history associated to them). there was no clear path that showed you how cars evolved, no explanations how a combustion engine works, or how gear boxes work. None of that at all, and to be honest, I think those are really quite essential for a decent museum.

Of course I made some photos, so here are a couple:

1930's Cadillac powered by a V16 engine

Closeup of a Lincoln Zephyr

Closeup of morgan's bonnet (3-wheeled Morgan, can't remember the name of it...)

July 17, 2009

As life continues...

Well, nothing bad, just doing one of my highly irregular updates.
Plenty stuff happening lately. Where do I begin?

Been working on a second pond in my garden. Almost finished. Need to do some electrics but the weather turned from 35 degrees sunshine to 15 degrees rain, so bit stuffed.
Once done I'll post some piccies. It's not the only bit that's changing in my garden. Been planting some trees etc and well be dressing up the garden unit thing a bit more.

Work's been busy, always busy. Still need to think hard about what the hell these guyus say when they talk to me. They speak english, but still I don't understand a word they say most of the time. Guess Airbsu made me too straight forward. Anyway, I'm changing projects monday. Gonna do some work on 787 (been working on Gulfstream for the passed year), of which everyone says I'll never get out of, but I made a deal with my manager that this would be just to fill the next week or two. I'm supposed to do some work on another project (of which I cannot get into details just yet), but that new project takes my fancy big time, especially as it may open up some doors for me...

I'm also thinking about selling my Celica. Again? yes, no, yes, no, I know, yes, no... I mean, you know. I want something else as toy. The bird's been doing fine, but I was thinking going yankee style: hot rod! Well, though I could get a ford anglia or pop, I wa sthinking going more affordable: Beetle! Yes, there are beetle hot rods. Roof chops, lowerings, big bad rears, the lot. Seems quite popular. How about power? Well, replace the standard 1300 engine for a 2500 engine and we're in business! 200 whopping horsies under the hood, or in the case of a beetle, under the trunk! My welding skills are pretty non existend though so I might go convertible on that one.
For those who don't know hot rods, have a look at this:

and this:

Yep, quite radical.

Dad's coming next week to give me gifts heheh. Mostly will be life stock from the good 'ol N of L (=NL=Netherlands=Holland for those brain farts out there that can barely read...)

Well, Swine flu is supposed to have hit the 50k people in the UK. Guess I'll be safe though, because unlike my brother I'm not a pig. I've been accused of being a big fat cat though, and a silly rabbit. And even crazy dutchman! Since those don't fall under the term "human" or K-pork, I guess I should be safe. ANyway, with my blood consisting of Indonesian curry, alcohol, and other non-organic crap, I have no fear of infection.

Read a book recently (actually I always read books). This one a friend from work lend me: Chicken run. An autobiography kind of book from a vietnam vet, chopper pilot. Good book, can recommend it. I was gonna make a point with this and I forgot
Oh, I remember! It contained a quote from some yank who's name I forgot. the quote was taken from Time magazine in '66 and in basic terms the guy said that America does not intend, nor plan to police the world now or in the future, ever. Well, guess that's one for the books...
Speaking of Vietnam, that's a place I'd love to visit some time. Like the Top gear guys: buy a 5 quid bike and drive from Ho Chi Minh city to Hanoi or Halong, but I'd do the 1000 mile trip actually by bike rather than by train like those whimps from top queer.
Speaking of hols, I'm going to Taiwan again, finally. Has been a while so am looking forward to that plenty much!

Another thing related to that is camera stuff! I need a new lens. Want a short zoom range thingy. Got stupid and changed my 17-40 for a macro. Stu-pid! Now I don't have a wide angle. Asked some forums. One only gave responses "buy 24-105" which is a grand in GBP! So I went to another forum, and after explaining I do NOT want to hear "24-105" (In fact I specifically said I will NOT buy that lens, I have not got that money and do not want to even hear a hint towards that lens), guess what one brainfart said "forget anything else, you got a 5D so buy the 24-105". That idiot must be nuked. The fucker is such an illiterate moron, in fact I wonder why I still speak if him. he must die most horrid.
Some people actually answered my question though. They suggested 24-85 for that extra wide angle and to have a small light lens. Another option is the Tamron 28-75. Bit tight on the range, but optically superiour to that 24-85. Also heard about 28-105 which is similar to the 24-85, bt I heard optically its poor, so that must mean the 24-85 isn't brilliant either. Then I heard the 28-135 IS is also an option and should be better than the 24-85. Is it better than the 28-75 though?

Jump topic just a little. Wnat to share another pic with u lot:

Its a pic of one of the most picc'ed places in Bath: Bridge street. I gues sthe name says it all...

I'll leave it with that for now. Time to sleep of the ethanol I absorbed earlier.

April 30, 2009

Black day on Dutch Queen's day

Today was a black day for Holland.
Normally the 30th of April is a day of joy and celebration as we celebrate the coming of age of our beloved Queen.
Today that joyful day came to a bitter end when a 38 year old man drove his car straight through the crowd and fencing in an attempt to ram the bus containing the Dutch Royal family was driving passed.
At the time I am writing this, the casualties comprise 4 dead and 21 wounded, of which 7 critical.

According to news reports the man (native dutch) was supposed to have been fired by the security agency he worked for, something rather unlikely as there is currently a shortage of security personnel in Holland. The man also recently received a letter from his landlord, informing him he would be evicted if he did not pay his rent by the 1st of May. Such letters are usually headed "In name of the Queen".
According to the same news reports, the man was not known with the police so didn't have a criminal record. He was also not intoxicated (stoned, high, drunk), nor did he seem not-sane. So currently people believe the man was well aware what he was doing, and seemed to have done so deliberately.

Personally I am shocked and disgusted by this tragic event! My thoughts go out to the families affected by this horrible day.
In Holland the Royal family is considered a symbol for all that is good, decent, and honourable. They are a true model for society, and generally they are loved by all.
Having killed 4 people deliberately and severely injured many others, the man deserves the most severe penalty in Holland (which is life imprisonment). Furthermore, since this is considered an attack on the Royal house, I hope they find a hidden law remaining from the last world war, that states any person attacking the royal house must be shot, as this man deserves nothing less!

March 25, 2009


It has been quite a while since the last time I wrote something here.
My work is keeping me rather busy. Last week was my 1st anniversary with GE. Nothing special of course, but it did give me some things to reflect on.
One of those things is that I'm still not used to the way people communicate where I work now. It seems less straight forward, so regularly I need top have lengthy discussions, and even arguments before we find out that actually we are on the same page. Having been there for a year now, it seems that is still happening.

On the good side, we actually got a bonus this year! That's quite something since I haven't had any form of bonus for 5 years, despite exemplary performance prior to GE. I decided to use it to o somewhere far away again ^_^.
Actually, I also was planning to buy a new lens. Unfortunately car issues prevented me from doing so. My Nissan had a rubbing brake, and the garage established that the piston almost fell out of the caliper! Having damaged the brake disc, this meant replacing discs and pads on the front as well, on top of the brake caliper that needed to be replaced, totaling a bill of 330 GBP (I decided to do an oil change as well while I was at it, but at over 40GBP I won't be doing that again!).
Then I decided to start using my Celica again. Having been too lazy in selling it (and thank god for that because with my luck with cars I need at least one if not more backup cars!!!). In any case, it had been standing still for 5 months or so, so had to jump start it. Then I wanted to do the brakes on that one, but decided to first check the coolant. And as expected the garage in Sneyd park that I used to use, had not replaced the coolant like I asked them at the time! The coolant was rust brown and muddy, so I spend a whole day flushing the whole engine, cooling system, and cabin heat system! Then, after spending 12 hours on the internet trying to find out if Halfords' advanced coolant (red) was compatible with Toyota's 4 life coolant (also red) I managed to restore the cooling system to normal operation. As a side note, the engine never over heated on me (touch wood). Then I followed with an oil change which turned out to be quite necessary!
The weekend after I decided to change the brakes myself. I got some parts from ebay to find that the front pads did not fit. I thought this was a fault of the seller. But not so. turns out the celica can have another set of pads (I;m talking non-GT4 Celicas here, which would otherwise make 3 different sets). So after a trip to halfords, I tried the new pads, and guess what: no fit! So what the hell is going on???
I did some research (again 12 hours minimum behind a crappy pc) and found the right brake pads. They're not celica's though... Turns out my Celica has twin pot calipers like an MR2, and MR2 pads would fit perfectly!
I've ordered new pads on ebay and am waiting for those to come in. Hopefully this weekend I can complete the work on my Celica. Then I get it in for an MOT check before the current one runs out. If it passes without too many issues (Im still expecting 100-200 GBP to get it road worthy, which hopefully I can do myself.).
If it does pass, I will start modding it slightly. Nothing too flashy. A standard Celica spoiler (they're small and subtle), and some light changes internally (again nothing flashy, just brightening things up). And maybe this summer I will have the dent in the back repaired! It does need a grill n front of the radiator. Originally it doesn't have anything there, but I think it is wise to put some aluminium mesh in front of it. It'll look good too!

hold on... I ran out of beer. be right back...


Last weekend I finally received new print paper. It took a long time to get, as I ordered it at the beginning of January, but last week it finally arrived. The paper is at 330gsm extremely thick, and at 30 meters rather long! Needless to say it does not fit the spindles on my printers. However, a stanley knife can easily cut off A3+ pieces. The paper is very bright and glossy and seems to partner very well with my Lyson Daylight Darkroom ink set. I printed out this picture of a bald head eagle (which I took in Holland last x-mas). And wow! simply stunning! the print I have in a warm tint, and is slightly darker than the pic you see here, but boy, am I blown away! You know, sometimes I'm even amazing myself!

Hopefully soon I can make some time to post more of my images of last winter...

Something sad now. Today I received an email from one of my respected ex-colleagues Martin, from Airbus. he was so kind to inform me of something very sad. One of our mutual colleagues, Leigh, has passed away over the weekend. Apparently Leigh had a severe asthma attack from which he did not recover. Leigh has been a great colleague. Always eager to help, and a social friend. He also tried to help me get a position with Airbus China in Tianjin. Our thoughts are with his family and friends, and I wish them lots of strength in these tough times. Rest easy my friend.