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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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).
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!
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 😦
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.
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.
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.
Funny thing – no mischief-makers ever gave that pole a little turn, just to point the camera in the wrong direction.
Kids nowadays… hopeless!!!
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.
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 🙂