Winter Walking

The weather has been pretty cold and snowy recently but I’ve tried to not let it get in the way of getting out and about. Yes – it’s another one of those self righteous “I’ve been out walking again while you’ve been sat on your ass” posts.

A couple of weeks ago there was a fresh snowfall in Glasgow so I walked down to Kelvingrove Park to take some winter pic’s before the thaw kicked in. I wasn’t the only one with that idea as the park had loads of people in it, mostly taking pictures. The one’s I’m most pleased with? First up is this robin. I was pre-occupied with the ducks struggling against the flow in the Kelvin, a far cry from their more sedate duck pond which was frozen over. I then turned round and the robin was 4 foot away on the handrail of the bridge. Very lucky.

Robin

I then walked up uni avenue just as the sun started to break through. Got some lovely snaps of the Glasgow skyline in winter which will always remind me of days in the tenement. Views all over the south side with many a winters day looking like this.

Glasgow Winter Skyline

Today was the first hill walk of the year, a nice stroll in the Kilpatricks up Duncolm. I expected the snow and ice to be clear but there was still some snow and ice even at this lower level. Loch Humphrey was still frozen over!

Loch Humphrey

Again we were very lucky with the weather as it was mostly dry and from our lofty perch we could see the rain over Glasgow. It was also clearer further north and we could see many of the Perthshire hills and had a great view of Loch Lomond later in the morning.

Loch Lomond

I must admit, I still love the walks. Fresh air, escape for a few hours and a chance to clear the head. Scenery is usually amazing too. Next up in a few weeks (leg permitting!) is a 13 miles stretch of the West Highland Way. Can’t wait.

Office with a View

While it may be common for lot’s of people I’ve never really had an office that’s had a good view. Take this week for example?

Snow!

That was Monday when the snow was at it’s heaviest.

What a difference a day makes

This photo is from this morning – a glorious start to the day. So why I am so impressed with view? Well, below is what I looked on to for the past 5 years.

Old View

It’s grimmer in real life! It’s great to be able to look up from the laptop and see blue skies. The mind drifts away to other places although you soon get brought back to reality. Lovely.

It's Been a While

Not posted much recently. A horrible man flu bug has got in the way of things recently but feeling better now. It got in the way so much that my new amp has been here a week now and it’s still not out the box. I picked up an Onkyo 705 to take advantage of the new audio formats now on offer. Looking forward to setting it up this weekend.

Thats assuming I’ve not been blown away – the wind has been pretty bad over the last few days. Just some snow to look forward to now. Joy!

Two weeks left before I start my new job. Can’t wait. Starting to pick up new work already and it’s looking sufficiently different, exciting, new and that’s before I start. Will be coding again when I move jobs and I’ve started to mess around with APEX in my own time – pretty powerful package and you can get a lot done with very little effort, or so it seems.

Weight loss continuing at an OK pace. Lost the Christmas gains and creeping towards 2.5 stones lost since last September. Back on to the badminton also although the calf is tightening every time I play. Not good.

Trying MarsEdit, loving CSSEdit, wondering why I didn’t use 1Passwd sooner, resisting the iPhone with it’s new tariff’s although now that I’m contract free I’m finding it more difficult than ever to resist.

Loving seeing Tory Derek Conway getting caught with his nose in the trough. I can’t understand why we can’t sack MP’s who are obviously abusing the system.

Anyway, another gale’s whipping up. Time for bed (not sleep – got the whistling wind to listen to).

Unlucky

Shite. I missed posting on 07/07/07 which no doubt means I’m cursed for the rest of my life. Probably explains the sore head for most of today (sorry Shak) but at least we’ve had two dry days in a row AND at the weekend. I’m currently sitting in the back garden enjoying the lovely summers evening and surfing like a demon. Bliss. I know it’s too much to ask but more dry days please. Is anyone listening? Thought not.

One last comment – tennis was rather splendid over the weekend with an amazing men’s singles final today. Well done to Jamie Murray too – who’d have thought he’d be the first Murray to win a Wimbledon title.

Did I say that was the last comment? Forza 2 is an immense game. It’s not only racers that are getting their kicks as anyone into customising cars can use the auction house to sell their wares. So well done Robert (or Foe Real as he’s known to some) for selling his second design for 5 million credits. That’s just one car. I think he’s totalling around 9 million now which is over ten times the money I’ve earned from racing only. Swine.

Weekend...stuff

Some bits and pieces from this weekend.

  • Microsoft support reckon it’s a paid for repair on the 360. While I argue my point (which will take a few days at least by the looks of it) my patience gave in after less than 24 hours and I picked up a new core 360. Gaming is getting more expensive! Roll on PS3.
  • Fence is now fixed.
  • The weather has been atrocious and anyone would be crazy to not think global warming is affecting us all and that new patterns are emerging. November and December last year were Glasgow’s wettest on record and January isn’t looking much better. Couple that with more frequent and stronger gales and a new winter is emerging that’s wetter and windier. Feb and March look more to be our traditional winter months now. I wonder if we’ll get late snow like last year.
  • Great article in today’s Herald highlighting Flickr and the amateur Scottish photographers that can be found there. Unfortunately the online version of the article doesn’t contain the photo’s or links to the Flickr site of those chosen for the piece. However you can find the photo’s at the Flickr Scotland group or the Flickr Scotland Blog where the best pictures from Flickr are published. Highly recommended.
  • Google Maps app for mobiles. This is a great java app for phones although it’s probably best to have a high speed net connection and also a good data plan before you start browsing around the maps.
  • The first four episodes of 24 are superb – looks like another cracking series. Usual caveat of switching off brain before watching does however still apply.

Hope everyone else had a good one.

Off to a flyer

So, returned from Peterborough yesterday and it looks like it was a bit stormier up here than I thought. Firstly I’ve got some fence damage. A year and a half ago we replaced 75% of our fencing. The last 25% was with a neighbour who claimed that it was their fence and it was fine. Well, one of the fine panels was smashed to bits on Hogmanay.

Fence Damage

Upshot is that they would like ME to get in touch with the fencing guy I used and arrange for him to replace OUR old fence. I’m not that bothered as it would be good to get it done but would have much preferred to do it a couple of years back. Hey ho.

Switched on the Sky box late last night – dead. No signal from the dish. Checked the recordings and it’s been buggered since Hogmanay. As Darth would say…..’Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo’. Thats the original Star Wars films in HD missed but more importantly last nights This Life. Boo. Newzbin to the rescue methinks. Phoned Sky who have reassured me that they’ll get someone to me as quick as they can – offered me a date in mid Feb. After rejecting that they will get a diary team member to phone me with something ‘a bit sooner’. No shit Sherlock.

Add to that the car getting scratched down South (the curse of Naim) makes for a good start to the year. Things can only get better?

Garbage Out

Lot’s happening but not a lot of time to write about it, so in no particular order…

  • Gears of War – done! Well, on hardcore anyway. Now playing through it on insane – a lot tougher. Act 5 (last level) is very short though and while the train seems novel at first it doesn’t have the variety of earlier acts. There’s also some inspiration from the Matrix in that level but I guess it’s no bad thing. Two short games of multiplayer in the last week have confirmed what a fun game it is. Still an overall feeling of a rushed game.
  • Pro Evo 6 has been patched. It fixes the online button lag but the game still feels…wrong. Never did get my thoughts up on the 360 version but in summation – a good game with flaws…Konami is the new EA.
  • Another howling night of wind and rain. A quick trip out this morning and there was a lot of surface water around Glasgow – there will surely be quite a bit of flooding in the next few days. It’s also so mild – who said global warming isn’t making a difference.
  • After Shakeels accident on the Kingston Bridge last weekend there have been two motoring deaths this weekend on the bridge. Puts things into perspective…good to still have you around Shak.
  • Three weeks tomorrow is Christmas Day. Next week I finish work for the Christmas holidays. I C A N N O T wait…the last few months have been pretty frustrating.
  • My Lifestream is now online. Early days yet but shows some promise. Plugin here.
  • Tiger Woods 07 on the 360 is a very good game. Much improved over previous Tiger games from EA, this is actually hard as long as you play it at Tour difficulty i.e. turn off the arcade shite that EA feel they have to add to a golf (well any sports) game. My golfer is now looking disturbingly like me. Yep – that bad.
  • I resisted buying a Macbook on Friday. The temptation was strong but having to pay for MOT, service, road tax, car insurance, house insurance in a four week period (oh – and Christmas) means funds aren’t what they should be. Next year though…it shall be done. I’m still loving the Mac in case you need a hint, despite not being cool enough to own one.
  • I’m back watching Lost. First three episodes of season 3 have been pretty good – hope it continues.
  • Did I mention that I stop work on the 15th Dec to return on the 8th Jan? Bliss.