Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

LNT – Damn you, Pack Rat Day!

I recently gave Pack Rat Day a mention, and carelessly noted how glad I was to be a confirmed collector rather than a hoarder.

That was almost two months ago, and turned out to be a mistake that is still haunting me today 😦

I’ve been accumulating all sorts of stuff since I started jumping on my bike to go a little further than around my local streets for a few minutes’ exercise. It amazing how the clothes, tools, accessories, and spares needed to ensure trouble (and pain) free annual distances of over 1,000 miles mount up, and I’ve yet to find a space for all that junk.

Add to that a recent episode with the ‘light-fingered brigade’ which has involved moving some other stuff indoors to keep it safe.

And a clear out session that should have seen useless computer gear being dumped, but didn’t, means I suddenly find my floor space has largely vanished under piles of ‘stuff’.

The only good thing has been that I DID clear out some junk as part of this exercise, or I wouldn’t even have had the space it’s all landed on!

The computer clear out was supposed to be a long overdue expulsion of a large number of printers that had become useless or redundant over time. Their worst failing was not having USB connections, so simply didn’t fit any ‘modern’ computer without a parallel port, something which has disappeared over the years.

I do have a USB/parallel port converter, and it works, but… even if you can connect, Windows needs a driver to recognise a printer, and old printers generally don’t have them.

Of course, as soon as I piled around a dozen assorted printers (plus two useless scanners – I just take pics of docs with a dSLR, which is so much faster than waiting for a scanner to churn out a file), what happens?

I get a docking port for one of my computers which has EVERY possible type of connection port provided, including the long absent parallel port.

I should add that simply having a port is not enough, remember Windows and drivers – but you can sometimes use a generic driver to get a printer working provided you don’t want/need any special or custom features to operate. And there are further issues with ink/cartridges/ribbons etc.

So, I guess I’ll be climbing over all my bike junk, the unexpected heap of goodies moved in for safekeeping, and squeezing past the stack of printers and scanners for some time to come – hoping nobody looks in and thinks I’m a… hoarder!



The big Canon bubble-jet on the right was one of favourites. It could print out diagrams on A3 sheets with a genuine 1-pixel resolution, and was pretty quick too. I doubt it could be cajoled into working though. Fed from a reservoir, it has a lot of fine tubing, and a fine nozzles which I am sure are blocked with solid, dried ink.

There’s quite a few dot matrix impact printers, which nobody would use today, although there are ribbons (unopened) in that bag at the front.

I had three laser printers, but they’re not in that pile, despatched a long time ago as the high temperatures found inside them mean that constant use sees many parts fail regardless of how well they are maintained, and they eventually just keep jamming as parts go out of alignment.

There is a laser there, and it was another gem that would do genuine 1-pixel resolution (to match screen resolution, or better), but was a rare one, so never got updated drivers to work with later version of Windows. It had emulation built in, but later Windows eventually refused to recognise it.

The last survivors were HP ink types, but they were always a pain for ink cost, and we only used them when customers were paying for the printouts.

Why did I keep them?

I need a physical print so rarely that buying a newer one would probably mean a print page cost of about £5 – and that would be silly.

So, now that I have a parallel port to play with on my present day computer – I guess I’ll have to run through this lot just once more, and see if any of them can be persuaded to work.

05/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Dear Glasgow West End whiny people

I’m not going to pick on any specific social media post, but I was really fed up last week when post after post was made on the social media channel of a local news outlet I watch.

They’ve ruined a perfectly good feed with their endless whining over the past week – every time I think I’m going to see an interesting story from events in west end – all I get is another sore ear from their endless whining.

Rather than actually do something useful, one or two noisy individuals chose to keep taking pictures of stuff dumped in the west end and used them to launch a stream of whining post about how the council was failing to keep the place tidy.

That’s nice and easy for such people, as they never do anything useful, like naming and shaming, or reporting, the people who dump the rubbish and are the real problem.

Far easier just to keep kicking the council, a nice soft target, for not having people out clearing up 24/7.

Maybe they should take a lead from Spain, where a couple of guys who dumped a fridge ended up with a £40,000 fine 🙂

The Guardia Civil confirmed that both incidents are currently under investigation and the men had been fined €45,000 (£40,000).

Authorities also said they had launched an investigation into the fly-tippers’ employer, a domestic appliance distribution firm, after bosses failed to prove they were disposing of appliances using a licensed agent.

“We have managed to identify this man who was recorded by throwing a refrigerator in a hill,” the Guardia Civil wrote alongside the video on Twitter.

“We are also investigating this other video where you can see how they throw a washing machine on a hillside,” they added.

“The investigation remains ongoing to clarify all these facts.”

Fly-tippers forced to haul fridge back up a cliff after throwing it off the edge

05/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , | Leave a comment

Appeal(s) lodged against refusal of planning permission for seemingly unpopular plan

Just notice that the developer behind the plan to demolish a building I happened to spot just before news of refusal for it demolition to make way for new flats has lodged TWO appeals against the decision.

City planners rejected the proposal for a site at Fergus Drive and Wilton Street, near Queen Margaret Drive, earlier this year. Hundreds of people had objected to the plan which involved knocking down an empty office building and putting up a six-storey block containing 19 flats, six with two bedrooms and 13 with three bedrooms.

Now applicant Rossweir Ltd has launched two separate appeal bids — one to Scottish Government planning experts urging them to allow demolition of the building — and a second — which will be heard by councillors on the City Council’s review body — arguing that the flats should be given the go-ahead.

A document giving the grounds of appeal, states: “It is considered that the proposed demolition and replacement of the existing unlisted building would enhance the character and appearance of the Glasgow West Conservation Area by providing residential accommodation of a high quality design and with landscaping proposals to enhance the area, replacing the poor quality building which currently occupies the site.”

It continues: “The site is currently occupied by a two-storey building which is unsightly and in a poor state of repair. It is a flat-roofed roughcast box surrounded on all sides with Tarmacadam.

Nearly 300 letters of objection were lodged over the proposed development plus a 272-signature petition, also in opposition.

No date has been given for when the review body will consider the flats appeal. The Scottish Government’s planning appeals division aims to have a decision on the demolition in October.

APPEALS Lodged In Effort To Reverse Rejection Of West End Flats Plan

“unsightly and in a poor state of repair” – well, I don’t know what it’s like inside, or structurally, but that doesn’t seem to describe the exterior.

“surrounded on all sides with Tarmacadam” – not sure what the developer is seeking to convey with that phrase.

Aren’t most buildings in just about ANY built up area “surrounded on all sides with Tarmacadam”?

So, another couple of months before this concludes, or moves to yet more ‘discussion’.

Hope I remember to keep watching.

127 Fergus Drive

127 Fergus Drive

05/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Mildly interesting view from Yorkhill

During my recent wander through Yorkhill, I climbed the (nor very big) hill to the hospital for a look.

Sadly, there wasn’t much to be seen there either, but I did think the view from the hill was a little more interesting.

At top left is a different view of the old Pontecorvo Building (still no obvious news of its fate seen, but it must surely be slated for demolition), which can be seen to be decaying and falling apart now that it is derelict and abandoned.

From this viewpoint, an intriguing covered balcony can be seen just under the roof level.

I wonder if there was a technical reason for this open area, since most of the services tend to occupy this upper area, or if it was a privileged area few lucky people to wander out onto, and enjoy the view?

Perhaps it was Professor Guido Pontecorvo’s (1907-1999) penthouse suite, a perk of his job and position.

However, what really caught my eye at first was the glazed area that can be seen in the centre of this pic, with the planters making a nice little roof garden for the occupants.

Not obvious from the view, this is actually the roof of the Kelvin Hall, and is an area not visible from the street or ground level.

I had thought it was a secret penthouse at first, but a closer looks shows it to be little more than office space.

Before looking closer, at the interior, I’d even thought it might have been a staff roof restaurant, but all that can be seen are desks and computer screens.

Click for bigger.

View over Kelvin Hall to Pontecorvo

View over Kelvin Hall to Pontecorvo

Unless I’m making VERY bad searches online, I STILL can’t find any newer information regarding demolition of Pontecorvo than the original 2011 story, published by Glasgow University and noting that the building was due to be demolished, and that staff were in the process of being relocated.

That’s now EIGHT years old.

05/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | , , , | Leave a comment


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