Clyde Sunset

At the end of September we had some great weather in Glasgow. I headed down to Govan docks one evening and got some good footage with the drone.

I took a bit more time to edit with this one and tried to vary the shots and match with the music. What did take an enormous amount of time was the export from Final Cut. My iMac isn’t really stressed by anything but editing and exporting video needs more oomph. It’s five years old next year so I can see an upgrade within the next 12 months…I’d better get saving.

Glasgow 2014 - Bowls

It’s halfway through the Commonwealth Games 2014 hosted in Glasgow. I’d tried to get a variety of tickets and ended up with some badminton for later this week. A few weeks ago I decdied to get some tickets for the bowls for me and mum to visit as the event takes place at Kelvingrove which is where my dad used to play.

Over the years the clubhouse and the greens had become unloved and looked pretty shabby so it was great to see then renovated and the facilities looked superb.

As for the bowls itself, it was good to watch and some great competition across the various matches going on.

It was a great day and hats off to the organisation at Kelvingrove which was great. The clydesiders were in good form and it was a breeze going through security. Plenty of toilets and everything was clearly signposted.

The only negative was the range of food on offer. Two food outlets with a poor choice of food and it was expensive and of fairly poor quality. It’s a real shame that some of the great food outlets from around Glasgow weren’t there – were they given the opportunity? Not sure if it’s the same across all venues but felt like an opportunity missed especially with Mother India just across the road and a whole host of great restaurants around Kelvingrove and Finnieston.

Overall though it was a great day and the weather played ball too – full set of photo’s are up on Flickr. Glasgow has never looked better and I’m looking forward to the badminton on Saturday – semi-finals day!

Good Service

Inspired by a tweet from Gordon this is a quick post to highlight some good customer service…well I thought it was good. Before I crack on, here’s the tweet – makes me chuckle every time I see it.

Towards the tail end of last year I needed my badminton racket restrung. I decided to try PWP which had opened a branch in Glasgow and was impressed with string options, friendly service and quick turn around. However on it’s first usage the strings broke and the racket developed a crack at the top of the frame. I couldn’t be sure that a crack wasn’t there before and had been worsened by having it restrung or that PWP were to blame. On returning to the store we had a very honest talk about the problem (which was refreshing – no pointing of fingers and trying to get rid of me). Even though I hadn’t bought the racket from them, PWP agreed to send it to Yonex and ask then to investigate for flaws or what was to blame.

Roll forward a couple of months and the feedback from Yonex was that I caused the damage. Bugger. I didn’t really expect the result to be anything else so it was time for a new racket…and a return trip to PWP despite the restring question marks as I really felt they dealt with me honestly. I sized up the rackets on the shelf and was quite taken with a couple of Yonex models, both priced at £139.

I probably should have checked for prices online but I wanted instant gratification. Imagine my surprise when the staff member I was dealing with told me that the 8000 model shown above was reduced to £89.99, they just hadn’t had time to update the labels on the racket. Instant sale. He didn’t have to tell me that as I was already thinking of buying at the higher price. Can you imagine a car dealer or your typical Comet/PC World guy telling you it’s cheaper than the ticket price online. Usually you have to ask, badger and complain until the price comes down.

So not only was I impressed with PWP’s honesty but at all times the staff have been friendly and knowledgable. So if your looking for anything badminton, squash or tennis related in Glasgow I heartily recommend PWP whose shop is in Partick on Dumbarton Road (replacing the suncenter that was there before – like Partick needs more tanning salons). There’s even a 14 day return so if the racket doesn’t suit my style of play I can return it. Fantastic.

Radiohead - Glasgow Green

This was my first time seeing Radiohead live and I wasn’t disappointed – they were superb. Headed to the gig with Shakeel with two main worries. How muddy would it get and would Shakeel get in with his camera gear? Well it didn’t get muddy but it was quite wet and it was rather cool for the end of June but it didn’t detract one bit from the music. Shakeel also got his camera in even though he had it strapped to his back under a jacket. Terrorist alert surely but picking the right security guy helped.

Shazam.Bats For Lashes

Anyway, to the music. First up was Bat for Lashes. She sounded much better live than on her album. The new material sounded good and that was despite being one band member down. Kept us entertained but not entirely foot tapping. Still, a good start and if you’ve not heard of her before her last album, Fur and Gold is worth picking up. Just after 8:30 Radiohead came on to rain, gloom but not darkness. They ripped straight into 15 Steps which was a great start. With that track dispatched time for some Radiohead banter – Thom said it was a lovely day and that we should move down south. A few kid on boo’s later and it was on with the show.

Radiohead - Glasgow Green

The setlist was superb.

01 15 Step
02 Airbag
03 There There
04 All I Need
05 Nude
06 Arpeggi/Weird Fishes
07 The Gloaming
08 The National Anthem with Hunting Bears outro
09 Faust Arp
10 No Surprises
11 Jigsaw Falling Into Place
12 Reckoner
13 Just
14 Bangers and Mash
15 Everything In Its Right Place
16 Fake Plastic Trees
17 Bodysnatchers

Encore 1
18 Videotape
19 Paranoid Android
20 Myxomatosis
21 Optimistic
22 Karma Police

Encore 2
23 Like Spinning Plates
24 2 + 2 = 5
25 Idioteque

Majority of tracks were from In Rainbows but there was a couple from The Bends and OK Computer too. My highlights – Reckoner, Fake Plastic Trees, Paranoid Android and Optimistic. The two encores also delivered – as I’ve said the whole set list was great and it was 2 hours of amazing music. Maybe I’m just easily pleased.

the audience at the glasgow show last night were something to remember. they were AMAZing.
in the pissing rain with steam coming of them.
we had a wicked time – Thom Yorke

I didn’t expect much interaction from the band and apart from telling us to move down south, that a man was showing his nipples during No Surprises and shouting thanks and fucking hell at the end, that was about it for interaction. Still, the music delivered and then some.

Any -ve’s? Weather could have been better and opening doors at 4pm for a gig starting after 7pm is a nice way to make money and get people merry. A bit too merry – throwing pints of beer ain’t big or clever and just causes trouble and pisses people off. Also, cheers T-Mobile. I didn’t get any text’s or calls throughout the gig and just as we hit the Saltmarket after leaving gig, the phone vibrated – 8 texts and a lot of missed calls. Sorry to those that I hoped to meet up with. Still pretty pissed off about it to be honest. I have my pac code – just need an iPhone now.

Loved the guy in front of us though that went through 3 half bottles in an hour with his mate. His shouting and accidental punching of others was pretty funny. Also loved the guy who thought Thom was being ‘a cunt’ for not playing Idioteque and just before the last track was shouting at him for not playing it….and then they started playing Idioteque. He went wild…in a good way.

Radiohead - Glasgow Green

A great and very memorable night. Full flickr set here with a couple more video’s. Really should have taken more video’s. Next time!

Easter Eggs

As it was quite a nice day yesterday I took a walk down to Maplins for a couple of bit’s and pieces which also meant I got to see the annual Easter Egg Run to Yorkhill Hospital. There were thousands of bikes!

Endless

The noise was superb and even 30 mins after it had started there were still bikes passing by. I can remember when this event started. I was living in Argyle Street and over 3 or 4 years it grew from a few hundred to a few thousand bikes. Estimates yesterday were of over 10,000 bikes from across the UK. Impressive.

Great Trike

Full set of blurry pic’s can be found here.

Schmap'd

Back in April I had a stroll around Glasgow with Shakeel and took some photo’s. It was a pretty good way to spend a day and I plan to do some more winter shot’s around Glasgow during the Christmas break…weather and time permitting.

Anyway, to the point of this ramble. Someone at Schmap liked one of my photo’s and from today the Glasgow guide is featuring one of my snaps. Nice one. Even nicer is that I’ll be able to see if anyone clicks on the photo and visits my Flickr photo’s via their new stats service.

Apple comes to Glasgow

08:10 – Myself, Graham and Roy meet-up and head towards the Apple store. The plan was to get a breakfast, get to the store before 9, enjoy the opening and for Roy to buy one of the new iMacs. We walked down and could see around 100 folk queued up already. Looks like it was going to be popular. We strolled around looking for food like desperado’s. Central station came to the rescue. Tasty (but expensive) bacon rolls later we headed back to the queue.

08:35 – Back in the queue we start to look around and notice…geeks. Obviously quite passionate and loyal to the Apple brand but the geek quotient per square yard must have been higher than even Maplins during a new catalogue launch. The most ardent fanboys could be spotted quite easily. The queue had also grown to around 300 odd people with more arriving thick and fast.

08:45 – A cheer goes up as the doors to the store are finally opened. Seemingly they were left closed even during last nights friends and family invite – they had to use the side door – as they wanted the doors to be opened for the first time this morning.

08:53 – All the staff come out to cheer the folk in the queue. The queue cheers back. A nice if slightly cheesy touch. You could see that the staff were pretty pumped up for the opening as were some of the people in the queue who looked visibly excited.

DSC03297.JPG

09:00 – Doors open, massive cheering and the people at the front start to enter. As the queue starts to move we get our first view into the store. As people enter they are cheered on by two rows of staff handing out free t-shirts. The cheering continued for everyone entering while we were in the store as well. Lot’s of energy and built up quite a good atmosphere.

09:15 – We’re in. I feel a bit embarrassed at the cheering but no matter – we’re here – lets get buying.

09:15-09:45 – The store is very nicely modernised. It feels a bit basic in some areas especially when you walk in and see the basic display tables with lot’s of iPods. However it feels spacious and the glass staircase is a triumph. I’m sure on a normal day the store will feel a lot less cramped than it did today. Roy did pick up his iMac and myself and Graham bought one of the new keyboards.

09:45 – Leaving the store and the queue still has at least a couple of hundred people in it with more still joining. Roy gets congratulated by members of the queue for his purchase. is there any other brand that attracts this loyalty? Looking around at the the trendy clothing stores what must they be wondering? Why didn’t their opening attract hundreds on a damp and dreary Saturday morning? Imagine how busy the iPhone launch will be!

Roy leaving with new toys

So a great store and I’m glad there’s now one in Glasgow. It will make buying far too easy though. Although I was at first put off by the whooping and cheering it’s actually nice to see something a bit different and also to see such a passionate user community get a store to match their enthusiasm. Can’t see the same happening at a PC World launch for example. The staff themselves seemed helpful although understandably busy. I also liked the mobile till units that the staff used – makes purchasing a lot easier. Damn 😉

As for the keyboard, it’s a lot comfier to use than the existing one that came with the older iMac. It’s also helps accuracy, I guess as the keys actually have more space between them. I also prefer the shorter throw each key has. Not a bad way to spend £30 seeing as it’s the primary interface to the iMac. I’ve lost the wireless keyboard but gained two fast USB 2.0 ports that are easy to get to. I can understand why people were concerned initially about the keyboard but after spending a couple of hours with it I’m convinced that it’s a better design. Hopefully it won’t show the keyboard fluff as badly as the last design.

Almost forgot, full set of pictures from this morning available on Flickr.