Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

01 Jan 2019 – ‘Dog and Cone’ strikes again!

This: My 2018 nemesis – ‘Dog and Cone’, was supposed to be a joke, NOT a challenge!

When I suffered a rare puncture en route to try for a daylight pic of that dog, I changed the tube, and nipped home for a replacement since I was so close. By then I was late anyway, so it seemed silly not to replenish my kit.

(You may want to skip through most of the mindless rambling below, and just look at the pics. I’m just writing about the day to get it out of my head, and stay cool, calm, and collected, and maybe be able to sleep tonight).

Today, since the weather stayed very nice (dry, 8°C plus another 2°C when the Sun came out), I decided to have the usual, short, New Year’s Day visit to some significant places (even though I’d turned over for an extra 5 minutes in bed, which lasted over 2 hours).

No hurry, and I wanted to fix the puncture to try a new kind of patch, so repairing and refitting the tube used some of the remaining time.

First stop was Daldowie Crematorium, intriguingly busy this year, I usually only bump into two or three other people. This year? Multiply that figure by 10.

There was in intriguing car there. I wonder if the owner was trying the trick of getting a vehicle signed/lettered with their business details, then just abandoning somewhere, until it gets towed, stolen, or torched?

Daldowie Crematorium

Daldowie Crematorium

I wouldn’t have bothered about this, but I found it particularly tacky and tasteless to leave this BADLY parked at the FRONT of the crematorium.

Peaceful Haven

Peaceful Haven

Every other car (and there was about a dozen at the time) was parked at the BACK of the crematorium, where the Garden of Remembrance is located.

Even it was REALLY just parked there, for laziness (on the double yellow lines that the council just might be able to action) and lack of tact, “Peaceful Haven” earns my first Red Card of 2019.

From there, I’d planned just to head into Glasgow, get a pic of that damned dog, and maybe some other attractions, just to mark New Year’s Day.

NOPE!

I got as far as (well, just short of) Auchenshuggle Wood when everything came to a stop.

At least my chain did – and I eventually found it to be doubled-up… inside the front dérailleur.

I don’t know HOW that damned dog managed to arrange this – I just know it DID!

I’m not sure how this happens, but this is the first time I’ve managed to see it. Previously, the jam this causes cleared itself while I was getting into a safe place to stop. This time, it was quiet, and I was able to coast.

I’m beginning to suspect the supposedly ‘clever’ lubricants I use on the chain are not the ‘magic’ they are supposed to be, and I find they ‘go thick’ and make the chain stiff. I’ve found that I can’t back-pedal a few days after applying the stuff, and the chain is so stiff it won’t conform to the teeth on the rear gear set.

On this occasion, when I freed the doubled-up chain from the front dérailleur cage it pulled the whole thing out of alignment – today’s trip was definitely over. That said, I do carry tools, and when I remembered that I was able to reset the mechanism to approximately the right position, and tension the cable.

So, I didn’t have to walk home, but since I was reasonably close, even though the gears were changing, I decided to go home and set the whole lot up properly, on the stand.

I’ve become quite good at this, after the first attempt tool two days, it now takes 10-15 minutes to complete this particular ‘Black Art’. Unlike the last time, not having to try to pedal out of danger this time meant little or no damage to the mechanism, which is why I think the cause is that ‘clever’ chain lubricant. I think I may be looking for something different soon. Pity, I like the way it lasted when it got wet.

So, back on the road, and sheer bloody-mindedness meant I was heading out to get that damned dog (even though it was now LATER than yesterday’s departure time).

The weather forecasts all seem to agree that tonight will be very frosty, and the next two days might be largely the same (but then warming up again), and I’d be sitting fuming for those two days if I didn’t finish today’s trip.

Temperature set to drop below zero in Glasgow as city faces ‘widespread frost’

How likely is another Beast from the East hitting Glasgow?

Passing Tollcross Winters Gardens, still a derelict embarrassment for Glasgow.

Tollcross Winter Gardens Derelict

Tollcross Winter Gardens Derelict

This time, it was 4:06 pm when I took the pic below, sunset today was 3:54 pm. Uncanny timing – I probably couldn’t arrange it if I tried!

The difference was that I let the camera juggle the settings (shooting a hand held 300 mm lens after sunset is not exactly ‘sensible’). So the ISO climbed, the image is noisy, but it’s getting better, and there’s no ‘shake’ (which is worse).

For a reminder of what this looks like from the ground, see this pic (dog is at top left)…

Mitchell Street Mural

Mitchell Street Mural

 

Dog And Cone

Dog And Cone

So, now it’s getting dark – next target: Crazy Cat Lady mural in Sauchiehall Street.

When this went up, it wasn’t possible to take a pic of the whole thing (it’s too long and wide) as the road was dug up in front of it, and fenced off.

That’s all gone now, the street is clear, so you CAN take pics – if you can take very wide pics (or catch it in two), and there are no people about.

Crazy Cat Lady Mural Stitch

Crazy Cat Lady Mural Stitch

Plus these…

Left Cat

Left Cat

 

Centre Cat

Centre Cat

 

Right Cats

Right Cats

Next, just a ‘hat tip’ to the remains of the Mackintosh Building in passing, and on to Charing Cross, looking down onto St George’s Road.

Charing Cross View St George's Road

Charing Cross View St George’s Road

This view to the west should really be from a tripod, not hand held, but it still came off.

This time of day is weird, as that sky was dark to the eye, and nowhere near as bright as it looks here.

West From Charing Cross

West From Charing Cross

Incidentally, that damned dog had ANOTHER go at me here.

As I descended from this Buccleuch Street viewpoint in the dark, I found a different path from the one I’d climbed – and this one was NOT a path, but a set of steps. Still, only my pride and dignity were ‘hurt’. I’ve never even noticed them before!

Next, I found Sauchiehall Street’s Christmas tree.

Sauchiehall Street Christmas Tree

Sauchiehall Street Christmas Tree

In case that pic seems to show a FULL SIZE tree, I should point out that it’s really just a tiny one, about a foot tall, and stuck into the top of that litter bin, rather being a larger tree seen in the distance behind it.

Since I had to pass, a pic of George Square’s Christmas attractions coming down.

George Square After New Year

George Square After New Year

I did pass the Purrple Cat Cafe, but it was in complete darkness. First time I’ve seen that.

A nice surprise as I flitted across Glasgow Green, and the wraps and scaffolding that were around The Monteith must have been taken down in the last few days.

I’d fingered this building for demolition to make way for new flats, but it seems the covers were not hiding demolition, but CONVERSION!

The Monteith

The Monteith

And then I got home without further incident – the damned dog must have gone to sleep!

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01/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Some goodies from George Square

Since I was in George Square shortly before Hogmanay, it seemed like a good idea to catch a pic or two.

The first thing I noticed was some of the keen folk who wanted to make an early getaway.

Fork lift and white vans ready to go!

George Square Clearout Squad

George Square Clearout Squad

Back at the mulled wine stall, it looks as if the trade in ‘Mulled Buckie’ must have gone down well.

Even the bottles couldn’t stand up straight!

Mulled Buckfast Aftermath

Mulled Buckfast Aftermath

The next one is interesting (to me at least) as it shows the column in the middle of the square (with Sir Walter Scott, or his statue at least, at the top) has NO strobes illuminated.

These were operating before, and it seems they can be a bit of a pig to keep working if they get wet. Moisture and high voltage generally don’t play well together, and they have had a reputation for committing suicide in the past.

But I think the problem here is somebody just forgot to set them, or the fuse blew, since they’re ALL off.

Sir Walter Scott Column Strobes (Not)

Sir Walter Scott Column Strobes (Not)

And finally (maybe)…

Since I’d given up wandering into Glasgow before this happened, I didn’t know (until I checked) that the George Square celebrations had been scrapped by the council back in 2011, following years of complaints and weather-related cancellations.

See? THAT’S what happens if you just whine about something that organisers have no control over – they just say “Fine”, and return the favour.

I’m being quite serious about this. I got the date from a news story about the cancellation, and it’s probably a fairly safe bet to make that the same people who added a load of insulting comments regarding the members of Glasgow City Council (for ending the organised celebration) were exactly the same people who piled complaints into the council when the weather led to year after year of cancellation just before the big night.

I looked in on the George Square web cam, to see if any of those same whining and insulting individuals had the initiative just to go to the square (where people did just turn up to greet the New Year), but no surprises there, and the place was largely deserted.

It was hard to be sure, since some moron had left a floodlight pointing right into the web cam, and the glare was hiding most of the view.

This was the scene (somewhere behind all that glare) at seven minutes past midnight on Hogmanay.

George Square Web cam 2019-01-01 00:07:08

George Square Web cam 2019-01-01 00:07:08

I have to be honest… I’ve seen it busier.

01/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, Lost, photography | , | Leave a comment

Today is Copyright Day

01 January is Copyright Day.

Interesting that the first day of the year should be named as Copyright Day.

I wonder how that came about?

I used to consider myself reasonably knowledgeable with regard to copyright, at least in its ‘simplest’ form when used to protect images and text when considered by normal people.

But once the big record labels got their hands on it, and discovered how they could buy up, claim, or just steal ‘rights’, then any sort of media seemed to become a minefield, and the right seems to depend not so much on a legal claim, but who has the biggest war chest, and legal team, to beat of any challenges to their claim.

Recently, I started to look at legal notes regarding changes being sought for copyright worldwide, in the EU, and the UK, and things don’t look as if they’re going to get any better, or any more sensible, as greedy people see clever ways to get money for doing nothing.

It’s a shame that it’s all become so dubious.

It’s like a phrase I heard one patent owner describe the joy of getting his first patent…

“It doesn’t protect your design/product, it just lets you spend your life in court”.

That’s not accurate, it’s some years since I heard that particular talk, but it’s close enough. The speaker had spent millions, so it was just as well he’d made millions.

Not Copyright

Not Copyright

01/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

   

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