Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Pavlov’s Cat

So, we’ve all heard of Pavlov’s Dog (cue the whining animal activists).

Oh! – that’s whining activists I’m referring to, not whining animals. I don’t care what happens to the activists, they can whine all they like, I’ll just ignore them.

I’m not sure if we’ve come across a decent Pavlovian Cat, but this one’s pretty good, and will do for now.

Pavlov's Cat

You do realise Pavlov’s Cats are real, don’t you?

The funniest thing about this is that the humans think they’ve trained the cats to ring the bell for food!

Sometimes, the human’s a bit slow.

It seems YouTube took down the video of that time the human really was too slow – apparently it took hours to scrape the walls clean.


09/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

It may be late, but I’m impressed by the length of this electric car conversion article

I really am impressed by this article, not only for its length (not dismissing its subject in half a dozen lines), but by the brave folk who took a chance and set up their conversion businesses three years ago.

I’ve always know about the Classic Car electric conversion business, and how good/attractive it was, but that was in the US, where electric vehicles are (always estimate) at least five years in advance of anything in the UK. The UK is pretty sad as regard this subject, and you are more likely to find people who persist on referring to milk floats rather than saying anything positive about electric vehicles.

I’ve followed the BEV (battery electric vehicle) story in the US, and it’s like a replay of the same whining and initial refusal to accept the idea here now, as it was there then.

Years ago (even before we had the batteries and tech we have now), US vehicle converters were using ‘old’ lead-acid batteries and recovered electric motor to take muscle and sports cars, stripped of their fossil fuelled power plants, and make ‘sleeper’ cars (they looked the same from the outside) which would out-perform anything else on the road.

If anything, they were TOO powerful and had to be driven with care as they also didn’t have the power limiting or control circuits now included in conversion using lithium-ion power and custom-built, matched, vehicle electric motors. Those early classic conversion could not only disappear into the distance ahead of anything trying to catch them, they’d lay down strips of black rubber on the road even after passing 100 mph – not something you’d want casual drivers to be doing. Reviewers often got the chance to play that game, but only after the owner, or converter, taught them how.

That said, in the article:

The Ferrari will now go from 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds in good conditions, halving its petrol-driven time. Its owner can worry less about tune-ups and break-downs, he says.

The car could do it in 2.7 seconds, but this was toned down as the rest of the car wasn’t strong enough to handle it.

I don’t think I saw a reference to another option which has become a reality, that of the reborn classic, built by the original manufacturer, but as an electric – but in small numbers, and with a hefty price tag, for example Jaguar’s E-Type Zero.

Sadly, you can NEVER please an activist or a campaigner…

Critics grumble about vandalising pieces of history and the loss of the engine noise. A few point out that globally, most electricity is still generated from coal and oil.

Thankfully, those still living in the real world, and moving forward rather than gazing forever backwards, know these people deserve no time or attention:

The engineers give these points short shrift.

In your Edwardian house, do you still have a coal fire? Have you ruined it by putting in central heating?” asks Richard Morgan.

For him, the noise is lost power that should be used to make your car go faster, and its absence means hearing the countryside again. As for the long tailpipe argument?

“If petrol was invented now, it would not take off,” he says. It needs to be discovered, refined and shipped about the country. And the portion of renewables used by the grid is ever increasing, he adds.

Tesla motors make classic Ferraris go faster

For once, unusually, it’s an article about electric vehicles I can actually recommend taking the time to read (if you’re interested).

I’m intrigued that he’s one of the few that gets the “Noise – lost power” fact.

I gave up trying to point this out to F1 morons fans a few years ago as they just didn’t understand WHERE that noise comes from. I actually wonder why many people call themselves F1 fans, as they seem to have no interest in the formula, and just want noise, crashes, and injured drivers.

Looking at the example pic from Electric Classic Cars below almost make me wish I’d been able to hang on to my black BMW, only a little younger than the type shown.

Sadly, despite a complete respray making it look better than new (with a glossy two-pack black), it was (so I’ve been told) built of old East German tin cans, and was rusting even before the panels were stamped out of the original sheet steel. Seems true, as the whole rear end could almost be seen rusting as you looked at it. I’m surprised the spare wheel never fell through the floor.

Still, it helped my tuning efforts.

The factory spec was 10 sec to 60 mph (actually over 11, but a magazine tested at 10) – mine was measured at 8 sec.

I could claim credit for tuning the engine, or maybe it was just the ‘lightened’ bodywork improving the power to weight ratio 🙂

Electric BMW Pic credit Electric Classic Cars

Electric BMW Pic credit Electric Classic Cars

I’m jealous, and wish I’d been in a business that might have given me a foothold in this years ago.

09/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Activists’ selective blindness won’t let them see this, so…

I’d better mention it so that genuine cyclists are made aware.

I’ve mentioned before the slightly disturbing trend I’ve begun to realise exists, where activists and campaigners appear to selectively ignore any positive news about their pet subject (whatever it may be, this doesn’t just apply to cycling, although that is the subject of this post), while maintaining their stance of “Nobody does anything!” in respect of their chosen subject.

I spotted two news items regarding the growing trend of cyclist, and pedestrian, favour in new transport strategies and plans.

Of course, the grumpy activist/campaigners weren’t far away, throwing their bountiful supplies of cold water around as usual.

I think the phrase I like these days is that “You can catch more wasps with honey than vinegar”, and these whining activist/campaigners are in danger of alienating the people they need to support them by seldom, if ever, praising schemes.

I don’t mind admitting they’ve lost me – and I now only mention them to mock them. I’m tired of their endless whining, and no longer even refer to their web sites. MY EARS HURT!

The news said:

Radical plans to reclaim roads for cyclists and walkers including creating the “most accessible community in Scotland” have won £60 million of Scottish Government funding.

The campaigners said:

However, campaigners Cycling UK said far more money must be allocated.

Cyclists and walkers get more space on Scottish roads under £60m boost

There was a specific feature giving more details of work to be undertaken in Glasgow.

MAJOR projects to improve walking and cycling provision in Glasgow have been awarded a total of £25million.

The funding is part of the Places for Everyone programme run by active travel charity Sustrans Scotland and Transport Scotland.

The money will go to two initiatives:

— Glasgow City Council’s Avenues Plus which will extend the existing Glasgow Avenues project to more areas. The £19million investment will provide segregated cycling facilities and footway improvements on a number of streets leading to and from the City Centre

— The £13million Yorkhill and Kelvingrove Cycling Village, led by Yorkhill and Kelvingrove Community Council (YoKeCoCo) in partnership with the city council, will receive £6.5million from Places for Everyone with a further £6.5million form the council.

£25MILLION Boost For Glasgow’s Cycling And Walking Transformation

Sadly, the latter part of that announcement was greeted with scorn and insults from a group I’m not going to give any publicity to – other than suggest they live to the northeast of Glasgow.

Their response to the funding announcement was not one of congratulation, but of scorn and derision, as it claimed the poor people of the northeast were once again being ignored and victimised, while the money, as usual, went to the well-off and wealthy west end of the city, where it ALWAYS goes.

Yup, THAT’S going to help win friends and influence people (that matter).

I’m so glad I don’t live in that part of the east end of Glasgow – although that lot probably hate me already since our ‘bit’ is actually getting some new cycle routes extending from our area into the city centre, with work on the first phase due to start soon.

They (and many others) need to move on, not stay stuck with their outdated, whining, and even aggressive views.

I need to stop their attitude making me feel as if this is how people see me when I go out on my bike these days.

Seriously – I cycle at about 7 mph when around people on paths, yet they STILL feel the need to tell their children to move out of my way, or get between me and them, even if 2 metes or more away.

Cycle Path

Cycle Path hint


There was more on the policy published later.

While I understand, and don’t disagree (as opposed to agreeing with) the priorities listed in the article, ministers and interested parties should take care over how they address discriminatory policies which will be created by this policy.

While everyone generally applauds things such as ‘Positive Discrimination’, like the activist/campaigners I mentioned above, they also tend to turn a blind eye to the consequences of that ‘Positive Discrimination’, and ignore or forget those who are consequently discriminated against, and suffer ‘Negative Discrimination’ as a result.

There is seldom, if ever, any reporting, analysis, or consideration for them.

Walkers and cyclists to get priority over everyone else on the roads in developing Scotland’s transport, writes Alastair Dalton

Scotland’s latest transport blueprint was not launched with vague notions but a very clear signal about the direction of travel. What must be one of the biggest single cycling and walking announcements to date accompanied the publication of the new National Transport Strategy last week.

A total of £60 million will be spent on what will effectively be the transfer of road space from motor vehicles to cyclists and walkers.

Five projects to provide segregated lanes for cyclists and pedestrians in Arbroath, ­Edinburgh, Glasgow and Perth will be funded by narrowing roads, including dual carriageways. It comes two years after a contest for similar schemes saw all five shortlisted projects being approved. Only one winner had been expected, in line with previous rounds.

In what may infuriate those wedded to their cars, the Scottish Government’s new strategy also includes an inverted pyramid to illustrate its “sustainable travel hierarchy” – showing where the priorities now lie.

This has walking and “wheeling” – wheelchairs – at the top, with cycling beneath, then public transport such as buses and trains, ­followed by taxis and ‘shared transport’ like minibuses, and cars at the bottom.

The document makes it quite clear who will come first: “We will embed the hierarchy in decision making so that walking, cycling and public and shared transport are promoted and take precedence ahead of private car use.”

Scottish ministers’ new transport priorities put lone drivers at the bottom

09/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Riverbank Primary School appears

It’s been a while since I wandered into this part of Dalmarnock, and the view was kind of boring anyway as the site was surrounded by perimeter fencing.

That’s gone now, and we can see the shiny new Riverbank Primary School which was being built behind that fence.

So, it’s a school, but there is one intriguing feature…


And, for some reason, a kite in form of a big bird flying from a pole on the corner of the building.

Click for bigger.

Riverbank Primary School

Riverbank Primary School

Had to zoom into that clock 🙂

Riverbank Primary Clock Tower

Riverbank Primary Clock Tower

Be interesting to watch this clock and see how reliable a modern installation is, presumably its guts are full of electronics and stepper motors, as opposed to the springs and levers of days gone by.

Most public clocks have lapsed, but to be fair, a number have also been revived – so I’ll have to try to remember to cast a watchful glance at this one whenever I’m down there.

FYI, it was indeed 13:03 when I took the pic.


Well, look at this – I beat the local media to giving this place a mention online 🙂

A NEW school has been completed at the Commonwealth Village site in Dalmarnock. It is open for the public to have a look round on Tuesday (13 August) from 2 to 8pm.

Riverbank Primary in Sunnybank Street has capacity for 356 pupils. The Glasgow City Council facility has 14 classrooms, assembly and gym halls; drama and nurture rooms; administrative and office space; and a library.

The teaching block has been planned to allow for a possible future extension of up to four classrooms which would increase capacity to 528 pupils.

There is also a sports pitch and a garden, to be used as a secure outdoor teaching facility. A landmark clock tower features in an area of public realm at the school entrance.

NEW Primary School In Dalmarnock Getting Ready To Open Its Doors

09/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Today is Rice Pudding Day

09 August is Rice Pudding Day.

I suppose there’s not a lot you can say about rice pudding.

Your mouth is probably full of the stuff anyway, and some people love to tell others “Not to speak with your mouth full!”

I’d probably have to admit to a preference for the famous brand name tinned stuff though, always consistent (and called ‘Creamed Rice’) – unlike the home-made stuff which, let’s be honest, can be pretty bad the way some people make it.

One personal point, I’m surprised I like this stuff so much.

In another ‘pudding post’ I had to admit that a similar macaroni offering almost makes me ill. The problem with that one is that I’m so used to the savoury ‘mac & cheese’ offering that my taste buds expect that, and just can’t handle the sweet when it arrives.

Thankfully, this does NOT happen with rice option – and I’m really pleased about that.

As an aside, have you the slightest understanding of the difficulty of trying to photograph little white grains of rice suspended in a creamy white liquid?

Creamed Rice Pudding

Creamed Rice Pudding

09/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment


%d bloggers like this: