Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

‘Vaguely Soviet mural’ is gone

Sad to see the mural I dubbed as ‘Vaguely Soviet’ has gone, to be replaced by something more conventional.

See the original here: Vaguely Soviet Shettleston mural

Looks like I caught this one early, and it’s currently a ‘Work in Progress’.

Despite the appearance of the pic, it was actually quite late as I passed the scene and spotted the change, and I couldn’t see how much of the creation was still initial sketch with no colour added. I only realised this when I saw the original pic.

I’ll have to get past again, and catch the finished work.

Shettleston Wellshot Road Mural Work

Shettleston Wellshot Road Mural Work


07/06/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Today is VCR Day

07 June is VCR Day.

The VCR (video cassette recorder), or probably more accurate to say the video recorder, was around long before most people were aware of it, and dates back to at least 1956.

There were various problems which made it less than desirable for home ownership in those early days. The tape was not as everyone came to know it, but was a metal strip, and it had to move fast too (so the reels were big, heavy, and didn’t last long). If the metal strip broke, it was like letting loose a metal blade in the room. It also wore out itself and the recording and replay heads on the machine (there was even an oiler fitted to help reduce this) and the machine didn’t fit on a shelf or table.

Things got a bit better once tape replaced the metal strip, but the machines were reel-to-reel and still big.

It took until the 1970s before the technology most people would recognise in the domestic VCR and cassette tape would appear.

Then there was the VHS and Betamax format war – not forgetting others like V2000 and Video8 that most never heard of.

Then it all went away when TV went digital.

Last week I looked in some bags lying in the street outside a house being cleared – they contained two VCRs and loads of tapes… not even considered worth selling for a few pounds.

I guess there’s not really much you can do to celebrate VCR Day now, unless you have a working VCR, a suitable telly, and some favourite tapes to shove into it.

This was the first VCR I both lusted after AND owned – the AKAI VS10 EK – note the date and the price. £700.

Today, that same £700 is equivalent to about £2,500 courtesy of inflation.



You can dig up more on this VCR online, or just look here.

While it ultimately lacked stereo (still to come), the VS-10 was a terrific machine, with many features not openly mentioned.

When I added more VCRs later, they were always a disappointment when compared to it.

I’d still be using it (I still have it AND it still works fine) but for the death of analogue TV and arrival of digital.

In my opinion, the old system was actually better in many respects (yes, I acknowledge the superiority of sound and image quality thanks to digital), as I miss more programmes due to odd failures of the recording system under digital.

While it was possible to modify recording times and durations with VHS etc, my nice digital box takes ALL that away, and only lets me tell it which programmes to record.

This would be great if it was 100% reliable, but it fails to record programmes (with no way to force a recording if not present at the time), and if there is an error, then there’s nothing you can do to compensate.

For example, the original Mission: Impossible series is being shown at the moment, but I CAN’t record it if I’m not present. The broadcaster’s schedule run about 5 minutes late. This means programmes start and finish 5 minutes later than advertised. Since MI is scheduled to run from 14:00 to 15:00, but actually arrives between 14:05 and 15:05, there’s no point in setting it to be recorded. Every episode of MI climaxes in the last 5 minutes, so just as an episode is about to finish, and we get to see the team’s plan come together -the damned recording STOPS! Every time! And there is no adjustment – unlike my VS-10 I don’t have the option to just extend the recording time by 10 minutes to make sure it gets the end of each MI episode.

I’ve tried contacting broadcasters about this sort of problem, but it’s largely pointless as they’re not actually responsible for the transmission, which is contracted out to a third-party, which the viewer can’t get to.

Sometimes, references to ‘The Good Old Days’ can be correct.

07/06/2018 Posted by | Civilian | | 1 Comment

Today is Chocolate Ice Cream Day

07 June is Chocolate Ice Cream Day.

Since I got carried away with the post about VCR Day (which also falls on 07 June), I’ll keep this short.

Chocolate Ice Cream…

No explanation needed – go eat some!

For what it’s worth, my preference is for the streaky type – I find the taste is less overwhelming than the uniform option.

While it may be hard to believe you can have TOO MUCH chocolatiness, you can, and if it’s too strong it limits the amount of chocolate ice cream you can eat.

And that’s… not a good thing.

Chocolate Ice Cream

Chocolate Ice Cream

07/06/2018 Posted by | Civilian | | 1 Comment


%d bloggers like this: