Was it really February since I was last on here Well truth be told, I have, only for my fingers to go on strike and my brain to turn numb A lot of Pooh sticks have gone under bridge since then, along with my new years resolution . I did have to dash over to Norway at very short notice, to replace a colleague who was not very well, whilst I was not very well myself. Ended up having to stay there for three weeks. I have also made a return trip recently which lasted a mere five (hectic) days. Norway is a beautiful country
The town I stayed in is called Orkanger which is close to Trondheim The area I was working is known as the Orkdal I have worked over there a few times now I really must take time out and go over there for a holiday
A week has passed since I heard the news of the passing of Gary Moore
My thoughts are with his family and loved ones.
Felt I needed to say something and now I'm totally lost for words
Bit like losing your guitar hero big brother (that you didn't have)
And Gary was a true guitar hero
But the music lives on.
Thank you for the memories Gary RIP
There was a time, not so very long ago, when if someone had mentioned Apple,iPod, iPhone or iPad to me I would have dismissed it all as over hyped rubbish. what a difference in the space of a year, I now have all three 88|
Really love my iPod touch, it keeps me amused and entertained on many a journey, with music, games, audio books, even kindle books. I must admit I like the idea of kindle, it is ideal for travelling light, but will for me, at least, will never fully replace reading a "real book" ( you know what I mean, one with pages and made from paper)
In the last three months I've moved onto the iPhone and really love that too, so many apps and games, just love the astronomy apps. Which has taken me to where I am now, had the thought how nice it would be to have apps like star walk on a bigger screen, could use it out whilst out star gazing and go onto twitter or facebook with a quick shake or flick of a finger *deep joy*:yes:
I'm still getting used to using my iPad and all the joys and differences of using it compared with the iPod and iPhone
I must say I have mixed feelings about iPad, obvious advantage I can get on line very quickly compared with my pc, I see I'm slowly going to fall in love with this gadget, I really don't think it's going to be too far away from me for the foreseeable future. I'm absolutely delighted with the battery life of the iPad, in comparison with the iPod and phone
Have even written and posted this "ahem" blog using my iPad.
Does this make me an Apple devotee or have I been brain washed (perhaps brought on by drinking way too much cider)
This could be worrying, thank you for your indulgence :wave:
Two weeks into 2011, how's it panning out? Bit early to say yet! Nothing much changes here. Haven't made any New Years Resolutions, so none to break, no sense of failure and no pressure on that score I find it hard to believe that two weeks have passed since Hogmanay But I have been pre-occupied at work. putting in a lot of hours, and feel like I should be saying where has January gone A lot of hours programing one of these
A PLC (Programmable Logic Controller)
A small video of part of the machine in operation can be seen below (Double click on image once it loads, sorry it may take a while)
Boring, eh! Anyway the pressure is off all is up and running and the workshop is in production. Enjoyed the challenge but not the pressure and now the "baby sitting" period begins Also enjoyed being able to enjoy gazing at the dark starry skies whilst travelling to and from work, a very relaxing way to start your day Also loved watching the moon wax from a slender little slither of a crescent and seeing the ghostly dark disk caused by the reflected light of our planet. Saintees brought a smile to my face beating ICT in the league and Hearts in the cup . Apart from that nothing else happening in my little world
These are a couple of pics I took last month, I thought/ assumed that they are of a sun halo. I say assumed as I could not see a whole halo as the sun did not rise high enough above the horizon from my vantage point, the Cromarty Firth, to see a complete halo. It could also be a phenomenona known as "sun dogs" Apparently this is quite common and may be seen all year round, but it is the first time in my fifty one and a bit years that I have ever seen this. Sundogs are formed by plate-shaped hexagonal ice crystals in high, cold cirrus clouds or, during very cold weather by ice crystals drifting in the air at low levels. The crystals act as prisms, if the crystals are randomly oriented, a halo around the sun is seen. But if the crystals sink through the air, they align vertically and then sundogs are seen
Bye bye 2010, not be sorry to see the back of you.
A surreal year, for me to say the least.
My cosy little world was turned upside down.
ROK went into administration, had loads of heartache.
Best not to dwell on that though, lots of good things happened too.
Saintees survived in the SPL, doing so in some style too
Made some really lovely friends on twitter and facebook
Finished 2010 on a high, went to "The Red Hot Highland Fling", to "see the bells in" must admit to being very apprehensive. But left having had a fantastic time
Highlights of the event may be found here sometime soon
Was pleasantly surprised and delighted by the bands performing, namely
The Red Hot Chilli Pipers
The Peatbog Faeries
Can't say too much about Blazing Fiddles, as I only arrived at the back end of their set, but they sounded great
Have to admit to liking some of the red hot chilli pipers "stuff", but thought I could never watch a whole set.
Remembering how much I enjoy hearing street musicians that are occasionally on Inverness High Street playing the Pan Pipes and then searching on iTunes for Pan Pipe music, only to end up laughing my head off at pan pipe covers of rock tunes, totally spoiled that for me
But wow was I in for a treat. An absolutely fantastic set and they were visually spectacular, not easy to rock and look cool playing bagpipes, but hey they pulled it off. Now a committed fan. Here's a wee taster
Double click on above picture, sorry it takes a wee while to load
(First time I've uploaded video)
Had never seen or heard The Peatbog Faeries, must have been in hibernation for the last 16 years. Described as Celtic Fusion, ther's so much going on there, really quite funky too.
Dare I say Fairport Convention meets The Average White Band, showing my age now
The set was interupted for the bells to see in the new year and a spectacular firework display.
Will have to see all three bands again real soon
The whole event was well run and such a great way to see in the new decade.
I left with a feeling of being proud to be scottish and of our cultural heritage and that the world was not such a bad place after all.
Thank you Highland Council, well done
Work done for the week,spose I should consider myself lucky to have a job at the moment.
Yes I was caught up in the demise of ROK, the last three weeks have not been easy.
Monday 8th November, 0830, phone call to say, company is in administration, pack up and leave site, only to have packed up and be told as you were.
Tuesday 9th, all appearing to be ok, although everyone is uneasy
Wednesday 10th, everyone is a bit more settled as confident murmerings filter through that several buyers are interested in at least the part of the company we worked for.
That was until 1400hrs, when a phone call is received to say the company is now in liquidation, pack up and report to the office for 1600hrs.
Appeared at office only to be told that there was an interested party in the Inverness part of the PH&E business, and as you were, just work as normal tomorrow, but report to the office first thing, to find out more
Thursday 11th 0900hrs, you are now redundant :-(
Anyway decide not to panic, not much point really, is there.
Will just wait for the official letter to drop through the door and take it from there.
Friday evening receive a text to say, someone had taken over our contracts and report for work as normal on Monday morning :-)
Monday morning, turn up and all seems to be ok for a couple of hours at least,
1000hrs told to tidy up and stay away from the workface as not insured to be on site, 1400hrs told that I'm not employed and go home.
Tuesday nothing happens so fill in all the forms and make an appointment to sign on, am starting to feel dejected now
Wednesday, report to office for health and safety induction tomorrow
Thursday report to office for some real serious health and safety presentation and form filling in, so much do not get back onto site until 1500hrs, have to say really feel like as welcome here as a fart in a spacesuit.
Friday turn up for work and although all is quiet, am starting to feel really uneasy about the whole situation, as I'm still not allowed to do anything out on site.
Friday evening arrive home to hear the news that my cousin has died :-(
Saturday get totally upset over someone I'd rather forget, getting into my flat
Sunday is a forget about it all day
Monday to Friday this week has been unsettling, start/ stop and more uncertainty.
It's snowing just to add to the mix
Weekend domestic stuff started, will end up being a work in progress over the weekend.
Painting to do over the weekend too, needs doing
Friday and naff all else to do except ponder lifes great mysteries
Yep apparently 42 is the answer to "Life the Universe and Everything"
Just love The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams :-)
Where do all my socks go?
I think my washing machine is a sock black hole event horizon, always end up with odd socks
Why has 2010, been such a scabby year
Don't want to think too much about that, it takes the shine off all the lovely things that have happened to me
Why is Inverness such a cloud magnet, have managed very little star gazing this year :-(
Even when it's not cloudy it's very hazy, that will change I suppose.
Why did PWC send me a letter to return a van to them, erm it's no little known fact that I do not drive, well yes I can, just not very well, not well enough to have a driving license.
Oh I'm so depressed and I have a pain in diodes down my left side
Hmmh, back to hitch hikers guide then
Better go for now
Nearly forgot I've tried blogging, thought I'd be writing blogs big style by now, would like to say I've been really busy, but that would not be strictly true.
Things have been quiet on the work front, can't remember getting a clear sky to get the cat out in ages, world cup was a total non-event for me, relly couldn't get excited about this one at all, well apart from the vuvuzella app for the ipod touch, this will, of course, be wheeled out at random moments during boring televised games in the pub to break the monotony.
Tonight (12th August) is the peak of the Perseid meteor shower, and as appears to be the norm these days Inverness weather has let me down, nought but cloud out there in my sky as can be seen below, ironically that one little blue bit is roughly the radiant point of the shower from my view point when it will get dark enough to see them
Hope of course, always springs eternal but the weather forecast does not look promising
Today is also the glorious 12th, not a good day to be a grouse.
Probably better to partake of a wee goldie one in a glass with some ice
Thank you for your indulgence
It's been a while since I last blogged.
Not that anyone is missing very much
Had hoped to have blogged a bit about the night sky, but a mixture of bad weather, bad underfoot conditions, bad luck, etc. *bleh*
I hear violins, don't you!
Had some beautifully crystal clear skies in January,unfortunately the "cat" was snowed in.
The "cat" is the pet name for my telescope, a Meade ETX 125, it is a Maksutov Cassegrain, scopes of this type are also known as Catadioptric (think I spelt that right). I thought that the cat was a good name for it after an accident I had, when I slipped on the doorstep at the backdoor whilst taking it out one night (I live in a first floor flat), I didn't drop it, but it did hit the ground with a rather alarming thump.
The outcome being scope ok, yours truly was left with a broken left ankle and a badly gashed right knee. So since then it 's been called the cat and it's only got 8 lives left Any way it now lives in my garden shed pending me putting up a new shed (not so bold as to call it an observatory)
Anyway, I digress
I haven't had the cat out this year and was really hoping to have improved upon my first attempt at astrophotography, remember #moonwatch on Twitter last year see below
Don't ask me to tell you what the different craters are called, because I was more *excited* at the time by the fact I could actually see the moon on my laptop via the cat.
I did get out this evening for a wee while, the sky was lovely in between clouds, but decided it would be a cat free evening and settled for scanning the sky through binoculars from the comfort of a deck chair.
Anyway, that's all from me for now, I have an appointment with my dear friend Lagavullin
The day after Boxing Day and I'm bored
Came across this book and had a quick flick through it.
Anyone remember Beagle 2?
Around this time, six years ago I remember anxiously waiting to hear if Mars Express, Mars Odyssey or even Jodrell Bank had heard sight or sound of it.
Beagle 2 was named after the HMS Beagle which carried Charles Darwin during expeditions which would lead to the theory of evolution and his book "The Origin of the Species".
Beagle 2 was conceived by Professor Colin Pillinger of the Open University in collaboration with the University of Leicester.
Beagle 2 was designed and built in the UK.
The mission objectives of Beagle 2 were to characterize:
The landing site geology, mineralogy, geochemistry and oxidation state.
The physical properties of the atmosphere and surface layers,
Collect data on Martian meteorology and climatology,
Search for possible signatures of life.
The lander was expected to operate for about 180 days and an extended mission of up to one Martian year (687 Earth days) was thought possible.
Beagle 2 was mounted on the top deck of the Mars Express Orbiter, which was launched from Baikonur on 2 June 2003.
It was released from Mars Express on a ballistic trajectory towards Mars on the 19th of December 2003.
It’s destination, Isidis Planitia, a large flat sedimentary basin that overlies the boundary between the ancient highlands and the northern plains of Mars.
Beagle 2 coasted for six days after release and was scheduled to enter the Martian atmosphere on the morning of the 25th of December. The lander was protected from the heat of entry by a heat shield.
After deceleration in the Martian atmosphere, parachutes were to be deployed and about 1 km above the surface large airbags were to inflate around the lander and protect it when it hit the surface.
After landing the bags were supposed to deflate and the top of the lander was to open. A signal was supposed to be sent to Mars Express after landing and another the next (local) morning to confirm that Beagle 2 survived the landing and the first night on Mars.
It is not known if Beagle 2 reached the Martian surface,all contact with it was lost upon its separation from Mars Express six days before its scheduled entry into the atmosphere.
It may have missed Mars altogether, skipped off the atmosphere and entered an orbit around the Sun, or burned up during its descent.
If it had reached the surface, it may have hit the Martian surface too hard or else failed to contact Earth due to a fault.
Ultimately a failed mission, a joke to some, a waste of money to others.
I personally think it was a success on so many levels, a triumph in terms of engineering and ingenuity (as indeed all robotic space missions are).
Had it succeeded in it's ultimate goal, I wonder how we would be looking upon Mars now.