Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Squirrel, fox, Flying Spur, bee, coo, stag, deer – you pick the subject

Spoilt for choice, I have no idea the best subject to pick for this pic, so…

YOU decide!

Bentley Flying Spur

Bentley Flying Spur

April 29, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Modern tools seem to be rubbish

While I accept that I often buy cheap tools in the knowledge that they are rubbish and to be treated as expendable, or even disposable, for use in awkward situations, I don’t extend the same low expectations for those I consider to be of reasonable quality.

Cheap copies are usually easy to spot, especially some items on sale in ‘Pound shops’ which can be less than useless once unpackaged and handled. That said, I’ve also picked up some surprisingly good items, which I suppose make up for the outright disasters.

My best and most reliable hand tools are probably post war industrial items, and can be used hard without any fear of breaking.

But I’m finding that even a decent modern tool doesn’t like to be stressed. Some very expensive wire-cutters (for PCB use) started to throw off chips of metal from their edges, even though they were only used for trimming copper wire on electronic components.

More recently, while using a pair of new(ish) angled pliers to attach some instrument springs, one part just failed outright and failed. They weren’t even large hand tools, so I couldn’t exert that much effort. Pretty sure there must have been a flaw in the metal.

Irritating, as I had found them to be quite an effective shape, since another problem with modern tools is often poor design, and shapes that don’t work well, or are awkward to use or hold.

Broken Pliers

Broken Pliers

Maybe I just have to remember that not ALL my tools are as robust as the few Snap-on examples I own. While I don’t treat them as indestructible, the seem to be, as I used to have a friend with a small car repair business. It was quite impressive to watch him abuse his Snap-on tools, use them as levers, or hammer sockets as if they were drifts, yet they appeared undamaged, even after being hammered mercilessly with a mallet.

April 28, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

If it’s stopped, it’s parked XI

It’s unfortunate that those who seek fame on the scourge that is ‘Social Media’ and try to create ‘viral’ content have found popularity by making the most trivial of parking errors into something to be seen as some sort of Mortal Sin or major crime. Instead of using it to log serious offenders, they have succeeded in making any parking transgression a matter that needs vigilantes to ‘key’ or otherwise vandalise offender’s cars, or take some other action against them, even though all they may have done is park over a line in a car park – usually where there are many empty spaces to be seen in the background, so nobody has been inconvenienced or troubled.

Equally strangely, those same vigilantes seem to see such parking as a major offence – yet seem to think they are justified if they (deliberately and knowingly) park one – or more – of their vehicles to block the first vehicle in, or block the driver’s access to it.

Strange logic – unless you are a bully, thug, or someone out to win ‘likes’ or create a viral pic or video.

Meanwhile, in the real world, they seem unable to see genuine offences on the road and footpath.

For example, this doesn’t look to bad at first glance, but look closer at the kerb:

Barrachnie Parking Vauxhall 01

If it’s stopped it’s parked

Seen from the other side, the problem becomes more obvious:

Barrachnie Parking Vauxhall 02

If it’s stopped it’s parked and not legit

Sadly, this is the sort of thing that is leading some people (not me, I just take pics in public places) to seek new laws to make it easier to fine those who park like this.

I don’t agree incidentally, since this is already an offence – vehicles may not drive on the footpath, other than to cross it for access.

But this law is seldom enforced – yet we supposedly need another!

A little further along the road, we had a more blatant example.

I suspect the driver thinks this makes them immune from the double yellow lines on the road, since they are off the road and on the footpath.

Not so!

Check the law and you will find that the enforcement area of the yellow lines extends to EITHER SIDE of them – so parking on the footpath does not escape their enforcement, and ADDS a further offence, of driving on the footpath.

Baillieston Tesco parking

If it’s stopped it’s parked

April 27, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Finally got a pic of The Barn in Shettleston

The Barn Social Club Advert 1972

Sometime something simple and straightforward can elude you for years.

Like ‘The Barn’ in Shettleston Road, a former social club, and as I later learned, a cinema before that.

I always forget about this place as it is really little more than an anonymous brown door between a close and some shops, and while I have seen it open, that must have been years ago as it has lain behind a ‘For Sale’ sign for years. And I’ve never been in it.

I also had no idea what it was like behind, until I saw it described as “A small back-court cinema” and looked closer on Google Earth (903 Shettleston Road).

It’s nothing more than a single storey pitched-roof extension tacked on the back of the tenement building – yet it was a cinema more than a century ago: “Premier opened in 1912, and originally sat 432. It closed in 1948.

Via Premier, Shettleston

According to another source, it has also been a Catholic church, bingo hall, and dancing school.  Although the information is undated, it showed the advert to the right, and dated that publicity for the opening to 1972.

I’ve tried to grab a pic for some years, but have always been out of luck with either various vehicles blocking the view, or semi-comatose can/bottle-clutchers propping themselves up in the doorway. Then again, these days there’s also the equally irritating smoker, social outcasts banished outdoors with their stinking weed, and always skulking beneath any available shelter from the rain.

I must try to remember to wander around the back one day, to see if there is any view of the extension/building itself.

The Barn Social Club

The Barn Social Club

I don’t know if anyone actually uses any of the directories or listing services published online, but when I tried to find details of the sale of these premises (and failed) I found that all those sort of listings still show The Barn Social Club complete with telephone number, address, and other details as if it was still open and in business.

I find these listing useless, never look at them, and would wipe them all off the Internet as all they do is clog up the first page of most business searches with out-of-date ‘information’ that is often wrong anyway, and has probably never been checked since the day it was first copied and pasted into these worthless parasitic web sites.

April 24, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Holiday time for night shots

Looking at some pics I hadn’t bothered processing recently reminded I had, I think, mentioned that I was glum as the chances of night shots have gone for the next 6 months or so.

With no car to take refuge in nowadays, or to reach nice dark places in relative safety, I just don’t feel secure wandering around with a camera in the dark.

I’ve quite enjoyed the ‘dark’ city this year, as the death of the dreaded monochromatic yellow sodium street light arrived with a vengeance, and the place is covered with white LED lighting. Even the main roads around my home saw them arrive, and I just noticed that new lampposts have been installed on some lesser roads, heralding their arrival there.

Now that I have ‘mastered’ low light photography again (under certain circumstances!) and can take hand-held with my dSLR I’ll miss this for a while – but I have autumn to look forward too.

Just for fun, I grabbed a couple of comparison shots when I was somewhere I dared to stand still long enough to set up for a long exposure.

OK, I’m not saying identical, but given it would have been impossible to take such a shot a few years ago, the hand-held shot doesn’t really compare badly to the ‘classic’ long exposure. And you can even read the destinations on the motorway sign – in BOTH! Even the high ISO. Try that with 400 ASA colour film. That has to be a tribute to both the sensor’s ability AND the anti-shake system.

And now we can choose light trails, or NO light trails!

But still… ORANGE SKY!

In case you were wondering – the ‘castle’ above the trees on the right… it’s just a water tower.

M8 Night Slow

M8 Night Slow

 

M8 Night Fast

M8 Night Fast

April 23, 2017 Posted by | photography | | Leave a comment

Cat murals abroad are different (from ours)

I caught some local ‘official’ murals in Glasgow some time ago (3 years ago!), as seen in Glasgow’s graffiti cats, and they’re still there – and I rather like the term that has been coined by some to describe them online, ‘murder mittens’.

Here’s s reminder:

Glasgow Dunlop St cats

Glasgow Dunlop St cats

One thing I’ve noticed is that our murals tend to the realistic, and that’s not a complaint. As a failed artist (despite being told by an art teacher I could and should paint and draw as I had the ability, I still think anything I attempt is fit only for the bin) I love the realism and accuracy of the work, and believe another thing my teacher told me, that cats are a real test of ability – and if you can portray them realistically, you are lucky and talented.

That said, I was browsing through a photo site that just collates random pics it thinks are great, and I spotted a couple of cat murals in a recent dump.

Unfortunately, it just collects the pics, not any of the details, so I have no idea where these are located, but from the ‘feel’ of their environment and surroundings, I’d say they lie on foreign soil.

But it’s really the stylised nature of their depiction of cat faces that caught my eye.

While I love the realistic murals that have appeared in Glasgow over the past few years, and are ‘Tourist trails’, even hidden in odd places so they are hard to find, and a surprise when they are spotted, I also think our artists need to develop some imagination too, and dare to move outside the borders of pure reality, and move into some more stylised and abstract work:

Foreign Cat Mural 1

Foreign Cat Mural 1

 

Foreign Cat Mural 2

Foreign Cat Mural 2

 

Foreign Cat Mural 3

Foreign Cat Mural 3

It’s not that we don’t have them at all, but this example (the only one I have of such a thing) is located on a wall facing AWAY from the road AND behind a wall. It’s only visible to people walking the path along the side of the River Clyde, or who may happen to look across from the opposite bank, from a place that is largely deserted.

Big Fire Cat Clyde

Big Fire Cat Clyde

April 22, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Black paint and fancy tyres make things interesting

I don’t know anything about this, other than the obvious.

It’s a van, it was made by VW, it’s black, it’s got fancy wheels and tyres, and a nice personalised registration (which I’d rather like in my collection).

I didn’t even have time to look at it properly as I was on my way to pick up goodies from the DIY store of which this is the car park.

And, of course, when I came back out – it was gone (never to be seen again).

Black VW Van [956 DG]

Black VW Van [956 DG]

April 21, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | | Leave a comment

They day a giant yellow dog drove past me

Not much I can really add to this.

But it’s not every day you look up while waiting to cross the road, and see a giant yellow dog drive past!

Giant Yellow Dog's Trust dog

Giant Yellow Dog’s Trust dog

Explanation – The Dog’s Trust built its new headquarters for this area not very far from here a few years ago, and while I’ve never seen this parked there when passing, I guess they must keep it there occasionally when it not doing its business.

There’s also a charity shop not too far away as well, in Tollcross Road.

I waited to see if a giant ‘pooper scooper’ followed, but no luck 😦

April 20, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Finally recovered this interesting little car pic

180px-AIXAM_Logo_2010

I have to confess this is a slightly old pic I’ve had ferreted away while I tried to fix or recover it.

The car was noticed in the corner of a bigger pic, so is cropped from it, or them to be accurate since more than one was needed.

The car was originally obscured by a gate, and not being a millionaire I don’t have Photoshop (which I believe has a tool for doing this sort of fix), and I didn’t know how to use my freebies to achieve the same function – then I realised how to trick it and make it do this.

The result’s not too bad, and obviously a lot better than the same view with a wrought iron gate crossing over it.

While the subject (car) is clean, I see that some artefacts remain in the background, so you can hunt for them.

It was worth the effort, as I can probably use the same technique for more important pics in future, and look at rich Photoshop licensees with a little less envy.

The car is interesting, and probably is (or was) a bit of a rarity to spot in Scotland (or even the UK) as it is an Aixam micro car, notable for being licence-free in its native Continental Europe – some of the smaller models are restricted to 45 kph (28 mph) and can be driven without a driving licence in some European countries (including Belgium, Estonia, France, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, and Slovenia, but NOT the UK).

In the UK they are classified as a category L7e quadricycle (quad bike) because of their weight and power output, so need only a category B1 licence to be driven legally. The law changed in January 2013, permitting special restricted low power versions of the car (Aixam 400) to be driven by full AM licence holders in the UK.

While the badge on the right is the official factory fit OEM item…

I suspect there is a 4.0 Litre Jeep Cherokee somewhere feeling a little naked and embarrassed following the modification and attachment of the badge the left 😉

Petrol and diesel engines were similar, and displaced something around 500 cc to produce almost 20 or 12 BHP respectively.

Micro Car AIXAM 1999

Micro Car AIXAM 1999

April 19, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

So THAT’S how they carry out those street/traffic surveys

Wandering home in my usual half-asleep daze I almost tripped over a metal box sitting on a part of the footpath I walk over as a matter of routine after crossing the road.

Street Survey Box

Street Survey Box

After issuing a brief curse at it for waking me up and losing about 20 minutes’ worth of ‘half asleepness’ on the way home, I realised it was different from the boxes usually seen by the roadside. Although chained up in the same way, they usually have rubber pressure switch strips connected, stapled to the road to detect traffic driving over them – and that was absent.

Following the cable, this one was actually taking pics, and there was a handy little camera sitting on top of a pole tied to the same lamppost as the box.

Never seen on of these before, or since.

Here’s a look at the camera.

Traffic survey polecam

Traffic survey polecam

Funny thing – no mischief-makers ever gave that pole a little turn, just to point the camera in the wrong direction.

Kids nowadays… hopeless!!!

April 18, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

A quality mural near The Barras

While this is an unfair comparison – and it’s not actually meant to be taken as a comparison since this is NOT a shutter mural – it is still a fair example of what can be produced.

I came across this one quite a while ago, but used the pic in another forum so had forgotten to mention it here.

If you were at Bill’s Tool Store at the Barras, you could turn around and look behind you. If it hasn’t been removed or replaced then you’ll see it.

It really is rather good, and worth at least a glance for real.

Bain St St Luke's Mural

Bain St St Luke’s Mural

I’m afraid I don’t know the significance of the winged bull (oops, sorry ox), but I do think it’s safe to say the mural has some connection with Tennant’s – I see at least 4 references to that particular Glasgow brew.

Note: See comments below for more info 🙂

April 17, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | 2 Comments

%d bloggers like this: