Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Clock No 4 – It might be fixed, but who knows?

As an expert in procrastination, I’m happy to note that this post has its roots back in 2018: Damn you clock(s)

That said, this subject is NOT referred to there (those repairs are STILL ongoing), but is something much newer.

Picked up in a charity shop 2 or 3 years ago, the battery powered quartz desk clock seen below ran fine for its first year, then decided to stop intermittently – not often, but at intervals of months, maybe amounting to 1, 2, or even 3 times per year.

Just to be awkward, poking around inside never revealed anything that shouldn’t be there, and it always starts and runs perfectly.

A few weeks ago, another stop, so I decided just to dismantle the whole gear train and clean everything.

Reassembled, it started and ran perfectly – the only question now being for how long.

It’s one of my smooth sweep second hand options, bought to replace one of my older types – the ones with the irritating jumping second hands that go ‘CLUNK!’ for every one of those seconds.

This clock is particularly noted for its relative quietness, something even these sweep second types can fail at when used as bedside clocks, and things get quiet, and their motor can be heard vibrating. This one probably does better than most as it is fitted with dial glass which is actually made of glass, and not clear plastic, serves to amplify any mechanism noise, rather than attenuate it.

The large white areas are luminous (non-radioactive), as is the big dot at the end of the second hand.

Repair Clock No 4

Repair Clock No 4

Referred to as No 4 only because it happened to be the 4th one that has been completed recently.

The other 3 will get their mentions, eventually, as will those that were scrapped, and couldn’t be returned to service.

18/05/2022 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Google maps has added 360 panoramas of some locations destroyed by Russia

Kyivmaps has other 360 panoramas available online. “We want to show the world the scale of the catastrophe and the genocide of the Ukrainian nation. To record what these scoundrels did to our country and were brought to justice. We record with the help of modern technologies the destruction caused by the aggressor.


The panoramas have been taken from a number of drone videos similar to the example below.

It’s chilling to think that we can see this almost immediately – compare and contrast to the film footage which took who knows how long to emerge from World War II, showing the atrocities committed by Hitler’s Nazi forces.

Now we can see Putin’s war crimes, almost in progress.

While I know the ‘people’ aspect of these views is obviously the most important, I still can’t get the early images of the Antonov An-225 Mriya lying wrecked, broken, and burned in her hangar.

At that point it should have been obvious that Putin was set on destruction in Ukraine, and had already ‘Lost It’, as only a madman would destroy a unique asset, rather than capture it, either to use, or even just a trophy.


18/05/2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment


Given that he is an influencer who will have caused the death of an unknown number of his ‘faithful followers with his stupid stance, it’s a same he’s just contracted the virus, and not died from it.

There used to be a steady stream of dead sceptics being reported, but as they were unknown Americans, often preachers (who usually took quite a few of their flock with them since they told them “You don’t need no stinkin’ vaccine – The Lord will protect you”, I resisted the temptation to post about them, and just had a little smile each time one appeared in the news.

Still, at least cancellation will hit his pocket, although he’ll hardly knocking on the door of poverty.

One small, tiny, and insignificant question, if I may.

If he’s a sceptic, telling people the vaccine is some sort of ‘mass hypnosis’ – why would he be fully vaccinated?

OH! I see, he’s a Trumptard too – “Don’t do as i do, join the cult and do as I say”.

What a piece of dirt – but his fans will still love him, complicit killer or not, and pray for his recovery.


Clapton Crap

Clapton Crap

18/05/2022 Posted by | Civilian | , , , | Leave a comment

Earned another ‘Rainman’ badge last night – without actually get soaked through

After messing around most of the day and NOT getting out, I decided to take a late walk to the shops. The day hadn’t been too bad, two little spells of 0.3 mm rain, pretty light.

I almost gave in to the bike,  but decided it still looked a little grey and risky weatherwise – and it turned I much more RIGHT than I might have imagined!

Barely 75 metres and mere minutes away from my door, and the first rain spots appeared. Seriously? It’s as if an evil weather gnome is always watching for me to put my nose out the door.

40 minutes later I arrive at the shops, and the rain had just got heavier as I walked.

About half an hour later, I come out of the shop to find…

The rain bouncing off the ground, pouring over some roof gutters, and the drains in the supermarket car park have been overwhelmed, and it’s flooding!

I just took a seat at the door – not even going to try walking in that, and, of course, the only damned bus for an hour had passed 6 minutes earlier 😦

I’d stuck my poorest pocket camera in my pocket (not even a viewfinder) and it doesn’t catch the detail in this available light, but if you can see what look like mist on the ground (rear right maybe best), then that is actually the rain bouncing off the ground. A mini gale had blown up too, and was driving the rain down in sheets, but this camera just can’t capture that in these dusk conditions.

You can check this display for yours

Supermarket Downpour

Supermarket Downpour

This went on virtually non-stop for another 10 minutes, but I was glad I had decided to wait since it did subside after that, and I was able to head for home.

Oh, remember the flooded car park? When I got near the exit, where the drains are, my feet sank ankle deep in crystal clear water that had pooled, and couldn’t be seen in the dim light – great!

On the way to the shops, there hadn’t been enough rain to make puddles – in the time this mini storm had fallen, it had been able to flood the entire with of a main road.

While this spot always floods in heavy rain, this normally only extend to the area in front of the bus stop, not the whole road as seen here – and this only took about 30 minutes.

Also note how the bright the sky has become in the 20 minutes or so since the first pic was taken.

Flooded Main Road

Flooded Main Road

And finally, I just took a pic of this nice reflection in another huge puddle for fun.

After all, I had to be in a good mood despite all this rain – I was only wearing a light jacket with hood, barely even shower proof, and have been soaked to the skin had I been in that rain.

Worse still, I might even have taken the bike!

Again, look how bright the sky has become, even since the previous pic was taken (about 15 min earlier).

Puddle Reflections

Puddle Reflections

The last pic is something of a bonus.

The camera completely failed to focus on anything, and the whole scene was out of focus, and I was about to dump it (and another, even worse), when I decided I had nothing to lose by trying some filters to enhance it.

Normally, these degrade a pic that is only slightly out of focus, especially if the effect is strongly applied, but I was amazed to see what they did to this one, and watch the edges reappear from the much

And finally

I guess these weekly graphs of total rainfall, and rainfall rate, confirm I wasn’t imagining this mini downpour.

Relevant time on all the graphs is 20:00 to 21:00.

The wind graph was a surprise, with only a pair of relatively small peaks at the right time (just before the last 00:00 on the right). But it looks as the wind speed fell to zero between them – just as the eye of a storm had passed!

Wet Night Wind

Wet Night Wind

These two graphs show the rainfall total (note how quickly it rose) and the rainfall rate, which shows an obvious peak at the right time.

Wet Night Total Rainfall

Wet Night Total Rainfall

Wet Night Rainfall Rate

Wet Night Rainfall Rate

I went back and pulled the air pressure graph as well, and that turned out to be the most revealing!

Just look at the downward spike – looks like my comment about the eye of a storm passing over, and the wind dropping to zero, wasn’t quite the throwaway remark I had thought it was.

Just my luck to decide to go out 5 minutes before a mini-storm arrived – but at least it verified me as a fully qualified holder of a Rainman badge (‘normal’ people just can’t do this sort of thing):-D

Wet Night Air Pressure

Wet Night Air Pressure


Took a while to find a weather map that had past data overlaid graphically – they all do current and future, but not past. It just gets listed in tables as far as I can see.

This wasn’t an ‘Eye of the storm’, but appeared as a low pressure trough on the map.

Interesting – I had no idea they could emulate an ‘eye’.

I don’t know how accurate these plots are, but at 8 pm, when I was getting ready to hide from it (my position in Glasgow is show by the circle), this weather feature was shown as sitting about 75 miles east of me.

All I know is that my weather station is definitely sitting at that circle, not somewhere out in the North Sea.

You can see the live plot clipped below by looking here, and also edit the time of the displayed data, to see how it changes:,56.73,9048/loc=-4.110,55.880


Low Pressure Trough

Low Pressure Trough

18/05/2022 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment

It took them years – but it seems the council finally killed my sinkhole (or did they?)

Sadly, this is another old pic that never had the chance to get used when it was current – but why waste it?

Years before it was taken, a hole kept appearing in one of my nearby streets. Had I known it was going to be a recurring gem of a council road repair, I could have been taking regular pics for years, but without the gift of ‘Second sight’ or premonition, I had no chance. It took a few years each time, but after being patched, it just came back.

When I eventually did notice it becoming a regular feature, the spoilsports went and fixed it… almost properly!

I didn’t see what they did, but, sadly, it seems whatever they did resulted in an almost lasting fix, and the hole has not returned, at least not properly.

Previously, it got bigger each time, eventually (that last time I saw it) being big enough to swallow a car wheel/tyre to the extent that any car that parked on the spot would have bottomed out on the road, and been stuck.

The size of the final repair, waiting to be surfaced, and extending both the road and the footpath, reveals how far the problem went.

I still wonder if it will open up again, maybe this is over an old collapsed drain or void.

There was mining in this area, but not here, at least not according to any old maps I dug up in the past.

My Local Sinkhole Finally Ended

My Local Sinkhole Finally Ended

Update – Maybe Not (fixed)

So, it’s now 2022, some years after the above ‘fix’ was noted, and it seems a little rain has revealed the truth about ‘my’ sinkhole, and its repair.

It’s STILL sinking!

Slower, but not stopped 🙂

My route doesn’t take me past it very often, but when it does, I usually take a look down on it, but the view doesn’t make its depth obvious from above.

But, yesterday, it rained before I went out, and the pooling water betrayed this feature’s return, as the ground, previously levelled by the repair seen above, is clearly no longer nice and level.

Return of the Sinkhole

Return of the Sinkhole

18/05/2022 Posted by | Lost, Civilian, council | , | Leave a comment

Ban Spying on the Internet

What more could I possibly add?


Ban Spying on the Internet

Vivaldi Browser

If you have never heard of the Vivaldi Browser, and I suspect you, and many others, have not since there seems to very little public chatter about it, or even listing when various other browser options are discussed, but I find it to be an excellent browser, and works better than my poor overworked Firefox installation.

That said, I do use the Nightly version of Firefox ever since it became remarkably stable, and stick with it as I have so many add ons that I have to have to hand or my brain will explode.

But for that, I would be using Vivaldi as my daily driver, rather than making sure it is always up to date and ready to go at a moment’s notice, if Firefox should die one day,

And I really wonder if I am imagining that information about its existence is being deliberately suppressed, and the usual sources are not including it in listing and reviews because it kills ads and spying by default – while you have to go find add ons to make most other browsers do the same things.

18/05/2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment

Since we had the Jumbo, or Econcomy size syringe yesterday

It occurred to me that there might be some strange people out there who don’t actually know what an ordinary little syringe looks like.

This guy has no chance with that little tiddler, given yesterday’s offering 😀

My Little Syringe

My Little Syringe

There’s probably also some misconceptions about what an addict might look like.

Just your common or garden everyday granny.

Drug Crazed Grannies

Drug Crazed Grannies

17/05/2022 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

Dalmarnock Power Station stood here – now here come the flats

It’s kind of spooky to find you have pics that show scenes that were only created a few years ago, yet are already being lost.

Such is the case of the pics seen below, showing the new fishing jetties, or platforms, which replaced the originals installed on the River Clyde, just below Dalmarnock Power Station.

Originally part of the power station, these jetties were intended to allow coal deliveries via the river, but as far as I know were only ever used once – during one of our glorious strikes of years gone by, when the usual coal deliveries by rail were not being made.

The original jetties were in fairly poor condition (the power station closed in 1977), but were used by anglers, despite holes in the deck, but were refurbished around the time of the dopey 2014 Commonwealth Games, when the remaining wall of the power station, which had been left standing along the side of the river, was removed, and land cleared and greened – presumably in anticipation of approval for the construction of flats soon after.

The flats are due to be completed soon, so the nice green view of the land behind the platforms has gone.

River Clyde Fishing Platforms

River Clyde Fishing Platforms

Can’t really complain.

Unlike the land grab at Carmyle (not sure how a developer managed to get permission to build a whole new housing estate there), this land did have a power station on it, so is fair game for reuse.

At least I was lucky enough to (accidentally) grab a pic that showed the place when it looked nice and green.

17/05/2022 Posted by | Civilian, Lost | , , | Leave a comment

That’s not a syringe – THIS is a syringe!

I’ve grabbed some video frames from this street before, mainly noting that the nice people who look as if they are still smokers (which they may well be) don’t actually have cigarettes in their hands and mouths, but similarly sized syringes, probably filled with fentanyl… or something.

But I had to stop for a moment and take a second look at this character, and confirm I had actually seen what I thought I had.

That looks like the sort of syringe somebody with a SERIOUS drug habit would have 😮

Oh Look! Bonus ‘Pull your pants up man!’ 😀

THAT'S a Syringe

THAT’S a Syringe

Not that I know anything anyway, but I do wonder what he’s doing with that monster, in a world where the usual syringe is only the size of a cigarette.

“Gather round folks. Special Offer today – No more daily shot hassle. ONE hit lasts a lifetime (which will probably be all 5 seconds)”.

The first thing that came to mind when I saw this scene was the opening lyrics from Boogie Pimps, Somebody to Love, and mention of ‘a serious drug collection’:

We had two bags of grass,
seventy-five pellets of mescaline,
five sheets of high powered blotter acid,
a salt shaker half full of cocaine,
and a whole galaxy of multi colored
uppers, downers, screamers, laughers…
and also a quart of tequila,
a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether
and two dozen amyls.
But once you get locked in a serious drug collection,
not that we needed all this for the trip, tendency is to push it as far as you can.

I didn’t realise there were so many versions, without differentiating titles, but did manage to track down the right one.


16/05/2022 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

Not Today Satan – Are you sure?

I quite like some of the gems that can turn up in live, or at least recent, video.

While I lost a fortune trying to kick this off in the days of low def 625 line analogue video in various formats, when even a crappy VHS, Video 8, or V2000 system would rob you of £500 to £1,000 and barely manage half that resolution – and I knew people who were spending anything from £3,000 all the way to £10,000 to get cameras of the time that would emulate broadcast quality (obviously they were running video businesses) – I only wish I had that cash to splash today, as I see people doing what I tried for a fraction of the cost (even worse comparison if you take inflation into account) and able to produce stunning imagery ranging from 1080P hi def, all the way to 4K and 8K. And, no shakes, wobbles, or shots at weird angles, as gimbles and stabilisers keep the view level and counter vibration.

Even mundane kit, or even a mobile phone, now makes video from those days look worse than a pinhole camera.

I grabbed this frame from a street video, and smiled as I thought the woman was looking in disbelief at Satan as he walked on by (not today, or any day), almost as if she wonders why since she thinks she’s so hot.

I doubt even Satan stops on a street where just about everybody’s had a needle in their arm… or leg,,, or neck,,, or…

Not Today Satan

Not Today Satan

16/05/2022 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Clyde bridge pair – it’s taken years!

These two bridges are barely separated by 10 metres – a handy oddity when it comes to photographing them.

If it’s not obvious from the aerial view, one of these is a footbridge (and relatively modern), while the other is a road bridge, and so old it was closed to road traffic years ago (don’t ask, I’ve no idea when).

Well, I do care, and you can find that info in this previous post which pairs with this one – I wrote it ages ago, then decided I had failed miserably by not taking more pics, so it’s had to wait for those pics to arrive.

Not bad, pretty quick for me – I only took those first pics back in 2016 🙂

Back to this pair of bridges, and some pics taken recently, so I could finally publish that original post!

Unexpected pic problem

When I did eventually get back for the ‘missing’ bridge pics, I realised why I didn’t have them.

They’re rather hard to get!

Probably not obvious from any of the views, or the aerial view, but access to clear sight of elevation, or side views, of these bridges is harder than it looks.

There’s not much of a view to be had from the paths along the river, especially in the summer months, thanks to trees and other growth along the river. Being fairly low, these bridges soon largely disappear from sight as the trees turn green, and other plants grow.

I haven’t tried this here, but while it would be possible to pass the growth and head down towards the river, which would give a good view, past experience with this in other locations has shown it to be risky

The river and its banks are fairly shallow in many places, especially where it is wide, and the banks can be soft, being made of silt rather than solid earth – venture into that in the wrong place at the wrong time and you can soon be stuck up to your knees, or even waist, and more interested in getting yourself extracted than taking pics.

So, on to Plan B.

In this case, that comprised walking to the approximate centre of one bridge, and taking a series of pics in order to stitch them together to make a wider panoramic view. Being only 10 metres away from either bridge makes the individual pics fairly useless, but when combined, things are much better.

Have to confess, I’m still making mistakes I don’t yet understand with these efforts.

While one came out quite nicely, the old road bridge, the other, the newer footbridge, stitch together with obvious distortion, and it couldn’t be edited out, to make a matching view like the that of the old bridge (which is just about nice and straight).

I think I’ve worked out my mistake, so will have to remember to take revised views whenever I get back to these bridges.

So, taking the best pic first, this is the old bridge as pictured from the new one.

Old Clyde Road Bridge

Old Clyde Road Bridge

And, with a little more distortion, the new bridge as seen from the old one.

If it’s not obvious at first, the new bridge is notably lower than the old one.

New Clyde Footbridge

New Clyde Footbridge

The easy option – just shoot along the bridges

While it may take a little effort to capture the width of these bridge, there’s no such problems when looking along them.

First, the new bridge looking north towards Cambuslang, then south.

It’s all pretty plain, and I’d say very typical of the utilitarian design which it seems most footbridges across the river shared at the time – concrete pillars, a plain span, and little more than a robust fence at each side to help stop the drunks, sorry people, falling off and into the river.

Things are different today, as seen in this recent example at Polmadie, which replaced a similar footbridge to the one seen here.

New Clyde Footbridge Looking North

New Clyde Footbridge Looking North

And, the view from the other end.

New Clyde Footbridge Looking South

New Clyde Footbridge Looking South

Stepping to the side, we can repeat this exercise with the old bridge, and get a comparable pair of views.

So, looking north to Cambuslang.

Old Road Bridge Looking North

Old Road Bridge Looking North

And again, looking from the other end.

Old Road Bridge Looking South

Old Road Bridge Looking South

I pity anybody arriving here with worse OCD than me.

Despite having arrived at these crossings for years, I STILL stop and ponder over which one to use every damned time!

And look in amazement at other people who just turn from the path onto one or the other without a moment’s thought or hesitation.

Panoramic update, just to satisfy curiosity

Curiosity got the better of me, and I couldn’t resist the urge to see how these stitched panoramic views looked when creating using my former favourite Autoswitch application.

While this is excellent, it is a freebie, and suffers from being restricted to only being able to combine certain types of image, and has few post stitch correction options to deal with any distortion.

Compare the above pair to those below, which I threw together using similar parameters, bearing in mind I had few to play with.

Bear in mind also that my main criteria in creating the views above was to minimise, as far as possible, any distortion in the bridge structure, which meant that I didn’t (and couldn’t) care about what happened elsewhere in the image.

Interestingly (for me at least), only three pics of each bridge were needed to create these views thanks to the enforced proximity of the subject – one central together one looking to the left, and one looking to the right. Depending on the location of the camera, and distance from the subject, nine or more can be needed, with care being needed to avoid too much (or too little) overlap at the edges, for alignment.

I’ve found it can even be necessary to take additional shots of apparently unrelated surrounding, lest the geometry acrobatic the software performs leads to large areas around the edges, which have no content.

Intriguingly, one of the software option attempts to fix this (if asked) by sampling adjacent areas with content, and filling in the blank areas with automatically generated content. Sometimes work, sometimes doesn’t, but can supply a fill that can be manually edited to look better, and save a pic.

First again, the old bridge:

Old Bridge Autostitched

Old Bridge Autostitched

And then the new one:

New Bridge Autostitched

New Bridge Autostitched

16/05/2022 Posted by | Civilian, Transport, council, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

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