Thursday, December 25, 2008


ChristmasHere's wishing family, friends and all my readers a very merry Christmas, wherever you may be.

Thanks to everyone for their cards, emails and messages of goodwill.

The turkey is cooking merrily & the champagne is calling...

Friday, December 19, 2008

The party is over

The party is overWhen I first put my gazebo up, I was asked when the party was.

Now the party is very much over, as you can see.

The demise of the gazebo was inevitable. In fact I'm amazed it's survived as long as it has.

I have been doing progressively more and more running repairs on the poor thing, but it's finally got to the point of no return.

With some creative welding, and a new cover, the gazebo's life could be extended, but I'm not sure it's worth it.

With it gone,Lady Jane suddenly looks very different.

Monday, December 15, 2008

One man and his boat

One man and his boatEveryone has their passion.

See the lone fisherman in his open boat there?

Seems like even the freezing cold will not deter this hardy fisherman.

I've been Ice Fishing on Devil's Lake, North Dakota. At least there the friendly banter, copious amounts of alcohol and a warm truck, or ice house, not too far away help keep spirits high, so to speak.

I hope he at least caught a reasonable sized fish for his efforts.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

An extra second - what will you do with it?

I read this article, and thought 'what an odd time to add an extra second'.

I then realised it was a US article and that there was no mention of UTC, or GMT as it used to be.

Of course that extra second is really tacked onto the very end of 2008, UTC time, extending what has been a miserable year by anyone's standards.

I'll probably save the extra second, like I try to save the extra daylight savings hour we get every year, and use if for a bit longer in bed on the next Monday morning.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Crisp & Cold

Crisp & coldI love it when it's crisp & cold like this.

The whole world changes into a winter wonderland overnight.

It was quite warm standing there in the morning sunlight, despite the frost, getting that all important first cup of tea inside me.

Moving into the, slight, wind and shade was a different matter entirely though.

Roll on summer!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


SpeakersWhen I bought the radio, the guy at the shop said I should buy the biggest speakers I could.

When I then looked at the really big speakers, he said that I would also need an amplifier to drive those.

Looking at the prices of the less big one's, I settled on these as a compromise - The biggest I could get for my money.

The wood there will need varnishing, at least, so it blends in a little better with the rest of the woodwork in the wheelhouse.

Still, I'm very happy with the sound from these speakers. It's akin to the quality of sound you first experience when hearing an MP3 played through good earbuds.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Car radio

Radio installationSo here's another of my 'I should have done this month's ago' moments.

I unexpectedly received a few hundred quid the other day, so immediately thought 'It's time to get that radio I've been thinking of all these months'.

The last radio I bought was not a huge success, mostly due to the hassle of powering the thing. For some reason it really chewed through batteries, and recharging them just did not work out. The damn things were always discharged when I wanted the radio on, and I had to recharge them in two separate lots, as the radio took six batteries and the charger four! Using it on mains did not work out either, mainly on account of the frequent power interruptions switching between the generator and the inverter.

The idea of getting a car radio was largely inspired by seeing the success that Rick's satellite radio was on the Wanderbird.

I was after a car radio a with remote control and the ability to play music from a USB port. Happily this new radio does both, though quite why anyone would need a remote control for a car radio escapes me.

All in, including the aerial and speakers, the whole lot came to just five pence short of the few hundred quid I received.

After connecting it all up and hearing the quality of the sound, there is no doubt in my mind that it was well worth it.

Just got to finish the installation off, including a neat housing for the radio and tidying those unruly wires away before Andy sees them.