Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Tiny mouse is sleepy mouse sunbathing on rare warm day

After yesterday’s ‘catbutt’ post which found THREE cats within a few metres of one another, it was almost a surprise to find I almost stood on this little guy why walking along the back path.

I’m usually at war with these guys as they seem to like to wander in my open back door during warm summer days, but I seem to have managed to discourage this for some years, and have worked out where to set bait and traps to deal with any unwise to try to beat my efforts.

That said, I was woken up at 4 am recently, to a strange noise, finally tracked down to one (or more) brave examples that had found a hole where various pipes head under the house at the bottom of a cupboard. I’ve never been sure if they are present, but this confirms their presence. Although the traps didn’t actually catch anything (which is fine, as they are vicious) they had been tripped, and I identified the noise that woke me as the surprisingly loud noise their plastic bodies make when dragged across the hard floor of  the cupboard.

Although I reset the traps, I also added some packing to close up the gap around the pipes, hopefully closing yet another potential invasion path.

This guy just didn’t care though, moving around slowly to fallow the Sun, and apparently not bothered by me walking past repeatedly, or even running away when I placed the coin for scale – just sat half asleep with eyes closed.

Then disappeared.

Tiny Mouse

Tiny Mouse

Tiny mouse is… tiny:

Tiny Mouse

Tiny Mouse

And safe – so long as it/they stay outside.

August 16, 2017 Posted by | photography | | Leave a comment

Still more Catbutt

We’ve actually got vaguely warm days in Scotland at the moment (although you’d be a making a BIG mistake of you left home without waterproofs or a brollie – the showers are out for revenge).

Such days bring the cats out, but don’t make them any easier to get a pic (not here, at least).

I spotted a black cat across the road, walking parallel to me and thought I might get lucky – of course, it ducked through the nearest hedge once I fired up the silly compact.

I then saw another one beside a car in a drive, but all were in shade and the same colour, so silly compact would never have seen it.

Then, almost 30 metres away and sitting in a back garden, a smart-looking tuxedo cat – zipped the compact up to 10x zoom, spotted the cat in the screen (no fast viewfinder in toy cameras), hit the shutter, and…

By the time the compact woke up, focussed, set the shot and finally fired – the cat’s sixth sense had clicked in and it was OFF!

Still, at least I got ANOTHER catbutt to add to my collection.

Another Catbutt

Another Catbutt

August 15, 2017 Posted by | photography | , | Leave a comment

Oh look – A Vauxhall T1 GRA

Much as I’d liked to have collected this one for myself, I’m limited to Glasgow, and this one was actually spotted some way away, and I’m grateful to the spotter for the contribution.

Not much I can add to this one by way of detail, but I do applaud the owner for resisting any suggestion to turn a nice plate into an illegal plate, and lose the space between the ‘1’ and the ‘G’.

I’m also not sure about the fate of this plate (this is not a new pic, and was captured some years ago) since I’m obviously not going to cough up the readies for a paid report, and none of the ‘free’ services or places I can enquire appear to recognise it.

Be nice if it was spotted again, and we got a hint.

Vauxhall Tigra [T1 GRA]

Vauxhall Tigra [T1 GRA]

Coincidence

While I was messing around and putting this post together, the procrastination actually turned out to be useful, as a very similar plate was featured online:

AstonMartin[TI GER]

Aston Martin [TI GER]

Would sit nicely on something like a Sunbeam Tiger, or a Hillman Avenger Tiger, but I doubt any Tiger owner would pay the possible asking price for this one.

August 14, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Unfair to cats!

A recent sortie into the city brought some sad and bad news…

The cats of Howard Street and Dunlop Street have been largely ruined.

Glasgow Howard Street Cat Murals Boarded Up

Glasgow Howard Street Cat Murals Boarded Up

Yes, sure, they were never going to be permanent, but they were pretty good and deserved to be around for longer.

They were certainly nicer to look at than the odd face murals that were created under the bridge at Broomielaw (I haven’t been there, so no pics only for that reason), which I recently read somewhere were beginning to fall apart as water got behind the plaster they were painted on, but they might be repaired.

No such love, apparently, for the cats of Howard and Dunlop streets.

Click the pic below for the originals:

Glasgow Dunlop St cats

Glasgow Dunlop St cats

August 13, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dunlop’s Auto Shop Rutherglen oopsie

I’ve been a little ‘Out of circulation’ for a few weeks, so didn’t manage a quick return to Dunlop’s new Auto Shop in Rutherglen to see how it looked after (or even if) had opened.

It’s all nicely ‘tarted up’ with some eye-catching shutter murals and graphics – which I would miss if I landed here early enough to catch the shop open, so being late can have advantages as most of this is hidden when the shutters are rolled up during the day.

I see the opportunity for fun is still a feature – if you drive a Proton and are looking for parts I invite you to test their offering of “Any Part For Any Car“. While there’s no mention of any compensation for their failure to meet that promise, you will at least (provided you are not in a hurry) know that a day or two’s effort was wasted behind the counter. Then there’s always the option of a hint to Trading Standards.

But there’s actually a bigger sin apparent in this pic, now that the signwriting has been completed.

And it’s NOT that lack of apostrophe on Dunlop’s, (Dunlops’?).. or Dunlops as they put it, even though that is a pretty big sin.

Rutherglen Dunlop's Auto Store

Rutherglen Dunlop’s Auto Store

Did you spot it?

It’s only repeated three times.

This, below the windows:

Please Keep Clear Dunlops

Please Keep Clear Dunlops

Tut-tut Dunlops, a car shop should know road law better than most.

You have no more rights to the public road in front of your shop than anyone else – the clue is in the word ‘public’.

This is a personal bugbear of mine whenever and wherever I see it, like the supposed ‘Red flag to a bull’ (seems they are colour blind), ever since I parked in front of Cross’s butcher shop (now gone, and the building even burnt down a few weeks ago) in Shettleston, on my way to hand a cheque into the nearby insurance agent.

Given the ranting and raving of the butcher who came running out of his shop to shout at me to “MOVE YOUR CAR! THAT SPACE IS RESERVED FOR MY CUSTOMERS! MOVE!” you could have been forgiven for thinking I had just knocked down his prize bull, instead of just having to listen to it.

Or that he did actually own that piece of road since it lay directly in from of his shop.

Public roads are just that – PUBLIC!

For the use of everyone who paid for them with their taxes.

You are entitled to the bit you are using, and nobody else has any more entitlement, be that the road in front of their shop, or even their house. Can’t get parked in front of your own house because someone has parked on that piece of road. Sorry, you’ll have to walk a few metres.

I’ll be watching this inventive piece of signwriting in the future.

Maybe someone local will take the hump (don’t look at me, I don’t live there, I’m just an observer), and have a word with the council, roads department, or even police.

Or maybe someone thinks that little end piece of road is no longer classed as ‘public road’ since it’s been blocked off, and this is OK.

August 12, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Mystery sign spotted at Barrowland – man with a barrow

It’s odd when you spot something in plain sight that you have simply never, ever, seen before.

While everybody latched on the main illuminated sign on the front of the Barrowland ballroom, I can’t recall seeing any pics of the ‘Man with a barra’ that I spotted on the SIDE wall recently.

I only spotted it as I happened to have been looking at the recent Billy Connolly mural nearby, and was still just idly glancing at building walls for no good reason.

I have absolutely no idea whether or not this is something new, relatively new, or has been up there since the beginning of time.

Similarly, given the time of year, there’s a slim to nil chance of me being around this area when it will be dark enough to learn if this sign – which clearly has wiring and neon – is ever illuminated, or even works.

I’d say it’s been up there for years, unnoticed and probably not lit for years – reason being that it was clearly once animated, with the figure have two sets of neon lights to simulate walking, but one set has clearly been gone for years. At a guess, I’d say the wheel on the barra would have a similar animation to make it appear to be rotating. The neon is all there, but does it work?

Unless there’s some reason for it to be on earlier (if it works), I won’t be seeing this in the dark until we hit November.

If you haven’t seen it, have a look up next time you pass Barrowland, or are at the Barras.

Barrowland Barra Sign

Barrowland Barra Sign

August 11, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Missed me again – but that will buff out

After I decided to let the ‘Missed me again’ joke wind down a little, and not bother with ever mangled railing that was mown down while I was not following a particular route, it seems that this has just meant the Murphy (you know who I mean, the famous Murphy of Murphy’s Law) has upped his game, and is going to try harder.

I’m back on my old Shettleston loop, which I’ve missed for a while.

Not exactly related to my ‘Missed me’ them, I’ve noticed an interesting side street where a number of white Transits are parked.

Nothing interesting about that, until you look at their wheels – nearly all have flat tyres (but only the bottom part!), and this has been the case when I’ve looked for some nights now, after spotting the first one.

Anyway, back to the real subject, and it was nice of this van to put in the effort to mark my return to some waddling along the streets of Shettleston for a while.

As an aside, I have noted a number of people look at similar crash collision damage, sneer, and point to it as an example of how rubbish modern cars are compared to the ‘tanks’ of yesteryear.

That’s a gross error and demonstrates a fair degree of ignorance.

It forgets, or ignores, that the front end of a modern or current car is designed as a crumple zone, intended to deform progressively in a controlled manner and absorb the energy of a collision rather than allow it to be passed back to the passenger compartment, and ultimately to the occupants.

Modified Vauxhall

Modified Vauxhall

Update

They’re not going away (unlike the Vauxhall, gone the next day when I passed)!

Those Transits I mentioned are coming and going (but who can tell one or more white Transits apart?), and still have flat bits on their tyres, and still only at the bottom:

Flat Tyre Transit(s)

Flat Tyre Transit(s)

For what it’s worth, the valve caps all seem to be on, and there’s no obvious damage.

We used to have something similar in our works vans, when we visited some customers who were less than careful with the dross the their manufacturing areas and let metal shaving get carried into their yard.

We’d find our tyres kept deflating overnight, and only twigged when we found small shards of metal in the tread.

Guess what – we didn’t park in their yard any more, despite the ‘favour’.

August 10, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

I’ll never understand the selfie or selfie stick

I finally achieved and ambition recently – and I don’t have many of those these days.

I managed to catch somebody in the act of using a selfie stick!

Every time I try to catch this I’m usually too late, and they’re gone by the time I’ve stopped and grabbed my own camera.

I have to confess I’m one of those who largely doesn’t get the appeal of this thing, and if you look at most of my pics you’ll find that other than where it’s practically impossible to avoid them, I avoid having any people in them. And the idea of planting myself in them… just doesn’t even occur to me.

I do have a collection of selfie sticks, but not for selfie’s – armed with a small camera, these telescopic hand-held mini-monopods are ideal for getting pics of, and from, places that can’t otherwise be reached.

This catch in George Square didn’t do much to help explain their logic either.

Without the full context (which has been cropped from this images), this selfie looks fairly logical, and is being taken by someone on their own, a tourist who wants a memento of having made it all the way to Scotland, and to be pictured in Glasgow’s world-famous square:

George Square Selfie Stick

George Square Selfie Stick

But…

The subject was one of a group, probably a family holiday, and there would have no problem in having someone take a better shot, as they were all carrying, and using, phones with cameras:

George Square Selfie Stick Why

George Square Selfie Stick Why

So I, at least, am not really any the wiser (but I did get a live selfie stick pic).

August 9, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

International Cat Day, 8 August – Go discover LoveMeow

Funny how the simplest of jobs can defeat you, and after starting this post on the 8th, ended up finishing it a day late and having to backdate it. Not my fault, just my usual luck and unable to get it finished on the day.

Established in 2002 by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, I may be wrong, but it doesn’t seem to have a dedicated web page, so no link, just the date, 8 August.

The delay did at least let me look in my collection for a magnificent cat pic, and was also a little sad, as the examples all seem to be from some years ago. I used to get the occasional visitor, some of which wandered in the door as if they lived here, or owned the place, sometimes even curling up on a seat. But not for years now, and even those I do see are so nervous I seldom get near. As for touching them? I don’t even try now for fear that as soon as I (slowly) move a hand towards them they will take off across the road and get run over, and it will have been my fault.

No such problem with past visitor, once a regular, and happy to roll around in the dust and dirt on the ground so I could never get a velvety smooth clean pic of this little black panther.

Black Cat Relaxes

Black Cat Relaxes

Go visit LoveMeow

I have to give a mention to a cat site I came across recently:

LoveMeow Logo

In their own words:

About Love Meow:

LoveMeow.com is cat lovers’ site dedicated to spreading the meowsage of love for our furry friends. We often help local shelters and rescue groups get their word out and encourage more hoomans to consider adoption. Giving a little kitty a second chance at life is incredibly rewarding.

There are some great rescue stories in there, but one warning: If it takes little to bring a tear to your eye, I suggest you go buy some boxes of tissues, or fetch a towel BEFORE diving into this one!

Sadly, our media, even in Scotland, is full of stories about people abusing and killing cats for nothing more than their warped sense of personal pleasure.

Equally sadly, the chances of their being caught are slim, as they are cowards and hide their activities carefully (and may even be organised criminals involved in illegal gambling centred on animal fights).

I should say ‘Perverse activities’ as it seems there are a number of studies published which suggest their activities are not just aimed at small defenceless animals, but are likely to be practice for their real interest, as child molesters in later life.

Seriously, if you someone who harms animals for pleasure or ‘fun’…

TURN THEM IN!

August 8, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Soaves return to Baillieston shops

I recently noted that after moving from the shops in Baillieston – to a vacated former TV shop, then café, on the outskirts – an ice cream parlour appear to have closed, and speculated that the move had not been a good idea as the footfall at the quieter spot was insufficient.

Although not received as a comment here, I was later told the shop had indeed closed, and gone back to shared premises in the middle of the main street, and I would guess a better return from lower operating costs and more passing trade.

Story confirmed when I spotted this recently.

Soaves Return

Soaves Return

Referring to the original post…

The little clothes shop is said to have a new taker, and will open again (no details).

And then what can only be described as fantasy…

That the former bank building is going to open under the auspices of one of the big businesses I refer to as ‘Coffee Cons’.

It now has another sign indicating it has restaurant planning permission – but a new restaurant already opened recently, just along the road, so I guess that is not really going to help moving a building this size with its attendant costs of ownership.

A bank might eat those costs for a while, but you will have to be coining it to make this building viable.

Baillieston Bank Building

Baillieston Bank Building

I won’t give them free publicity by naming them online, but they cost city worker a fortune, selling paper cups of brown slops – coffee with various silly and trendy names – for around £2.50 or more a time.

People fail to think, and buy this stuff, costing them well over £100 a year for little more than hot water.

It’s no wonder these cash black holes use paper cups, and avoid any refers to… MUGS.

If an ice cream parlour can’t cut it here, then I doubt there’s any way a franchisee would be able to cover their costs operating from this deserted area with few customers to pay for such a huge building and the franchise costs.

It’s only the founder that becomes a millionaire and enjoys the trapping of wealth from such plans.

August 8, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

My second PHEV (that’s plug-in hybrid electric vehicle)

This is only the second vehicle I have caught in the act of being charged at a public street charger (yes, we really do have these in Scotland).

But it’s only the first I’ve posted a pic of – due to some system changes I’ve lost the first on in the filing system, and really will have to go find it and post it one day, even if just to be awkward.

It’s strange, and something I can’t quite understand, but the mere mention of electric vehicles (EVs) is enough to bring out the loonies, or the Naysayer Brigade, and have mindless scorn poured over anything you say about them, or be facing some sort of rabid anti-EV activist that you’ve just transformed an otherwise normal, sane, person into.

I think the saddest aspect is their similarity to Flat-Earthers – no matter what evidence you present to them, they refuse to accept it and parrot all the myths about EVs in much the same way as Flat-Earthers continue to claim that NASA lied about all the space missions, and how even passenger flights are all lies, somehow managed by ‘Them’ to hide the fact that the Earth is flat.

I thought these folk had gone away, but was recently sent a pic of a van in the US with a big sign offering “$1,000 to anyone who can prove the Earth is not flat” and plastered with various “NASA LIES” stickers and clips from stories that ‘prove’ the Earth is flat.

Much the same as arguing with that van owner would be pointless, I gave up trying reason with any anyone who laughed at ‘Stupid EVs’ and said ‘They’ll never work’.

I was surprised to read that the Outlander is the UK’s best-selling hybrid, I has no idea. I’m more used to seeing the few Nissan Leaf’s (full battery EVs – no engine) that flit around my area. I had to dig up some specs:

The Outlander has a 12 kWh 300 volt battery said to be good for 30 miles, and is  a true series/parallel hybrid which means the front and rear electric motors provide primary motivation and are the only source of propulsion away from a stop. When the battery is depleted, the engine generates electricity for the motors. At higher speeds, when the driver calls for full power or when climbing a steep grade, the engine can turn the wheels directly, contributing its power more efficiently.  UK-spec models have two 80 hp electric motors and a 119 hp 2 litre four-cylinder engine. A full charge take 3.5 hours using a 16 amp 240 volt supply, while a quick-charge (CHAdeMO DC) to 80% is quoted at 30 minutes.

Having mentioned anti-EV loonies, it’s only fair to say I can get pro-EV loonies worked up by mentioning cars like this PHEV in their presence, and they will berate me for “Promoting that pointless option” as they believe only FULL BEVs should be promoted.

Loonies, don’t you love ’em?

(Preferably roasted, over a slow fire.)

Outlander PHEV Charging In Glasgow

Outlander PHEV Charging In Glasgow

 

Outlander PHEV Charging In Glasgow

Outlander PHEV Charging In Glasgow

August 7, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: