Friday, 24 December 2010

Manchester Wheel and the iPhone

I was out shopping in Manchester the other day and decided to put the iPhone 4 camera through it's paces by taking a picture of the Manchester Wheel after the sun had set. It's not worked out badly for a smartphone camera.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Walking in a Winter Wonderland (British Version)

A new British take on the old favourite, Walking in a Winter Wonderland.

The phones ring
No one's listening
All the staff
Have gone missing
Check the website
You won't get a flight
Stranded in a Heathrow Blunderland

Locked away
Are the gritters
Read about it
On Twitter
It's nobody's fault
We ran out of salt
Stranded in a Winter Blunderland

Snowfall came
Without warning
You could blame
Global warming
But nobody cares
About Polar Bears
When they're stranded in a Winter Blunderland

Thursday, 2 December 2010

More Snowy Pictures

Here is the second photo from my photo shoot yesterday.

First Snow

It's been a bit cold and snowy the past couple of days here in Cheshire so i decided to take my camera out and snap a few winter scenes.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Iphone 4 Blends

The big question is not how good the screen on the iphone 4 is or how fast the processor is, the big question is. Will It Blend ??

Monday, 14 June 2010

Broken Through The 50 Mile Barrier

Although it hasn't been raining the weather has been pretty poor today, the temperature has been about 16C and there has been a strong wind. Undeterred i set off this afternoon to break through the psychological 50 mile barrier, i had my route planned and was feeling strong, as it turned out the ride proved to be tougher than i expected. The outward leg down to Holmes Chapel via Congleton was a breeze and i was flying all the way with the wind at my back, however the return leg was a different story. The wind that had been pushing me on was now coming straight at me and as well as that the road from Holmes Chapel to Knutsford has a shocking surface, full of pot holes, cut up and very rough, it was a case of get my head down and try and make as quicker progress as possible. Of course everything comes to an end and it wasn't too long before i was in Wilmslow and on the last easy home stretch. Did i break the 50 miles ? yes i did 51.5 miles in 3 hours 21 minutes and don't feel to bad on it, perhaps the energy drink i had near Knutsford should take some credit for that, i haven't had Lucozade since i was a kid.
For the statistically minded i have now done 15 rides since i got the bike, covered 493 miles and used 26,537 calories.  

Friday, 11 June 2010

Interesting Afternoon Cycling

Been out for a great 40 mile ride this afternoon in Cheshire, it's one i have done before but today i added a little addition to it. The weather has been excellent but the ride has certainly been an adventure. Everything was going well until Alderley Edge where i was filtering down the inside of stationary traffic when a woman and her daughter, who were both clearly thinking about which handbag to buy instead of looking, decided to step off the pavement and proceeded to walk straight into me. For me it was like watching a movie in slow motion as i could see it coming but could do nothing to avoid it. Fortunately there was no damage done and i think she was more shocked than i was. You would imagine that this would be enough for one afternoon but no more was to come. Trying to get out of a junction onto a busy main road a not so observant motorist turned right straight across me forcing me to grab the brakes and come to a fast stop. I couldn't unclip my feet from the pedals fast enough and fell sideways to the ground still connected to the bike. Actually it was more embarrassing than anything else, as apart form a few tarmac burns both rider and his machine were fine, undeterred i re mounted and continued on my way with another few miles to go. That was the end of the excitement for the day although i did latch onto a Manchester Wheelers rider for a few miles before i turned off for home. He was a powerful rider and gradually pulled away from me as the miles flew by, it was heartening that it was only gradually. I think more training is needed if i am going to participate in a competitive event.

So having got home and showered i was doing a little surfing to relax and came across this new bike from Trek. It's called a Speed Concept and wow you have to say it really is cool. I doubt i will be investing though as it's £8000.00 !! Check out the review

Monday, 7 June 2010

Winnats Pass Peak District Derbyshire

I have been looking on the map for some climbs to put into my bike rides but somehow i don't think i am ready for the Winnats Pass.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Symmetrical Sun Loungers

I have just been away in Marbella in Spain for a week and took a few photos with the express intention of making HDR images. Tonight i have finally got around to having a play with them and this is the first. I was taken by the symmetry of these sun loungers and their towels, looking so perfect that i felt it would almost be a shame for someone to come along and sit on them. I can imagine the pool guy watching quietly from afar, secretly hoping that no one spoils his work. I know this type of HDR treatment isn't to everyones taste but i admit to liking this style a lot, the more of them i produce. Click the image to see a bigger photo.

Monday, 31 May 2010

Up Into The Hills

I just got back from a nice week in Spain on Friday and despite it being an incredibly windy day on Sunday i needed to get back out on my bike for a ride. Prior to going away i was considering myself ready to try some more hilly terrain so i decided to head up into the foothills of the Peak District around Potts Shrigley and Bollington. It was certainly a challenging ride with some tough hills where i thought my lungs were going to explode. Still if you dig deep you can usually make it through most things and the cycle back down from the highest point provided a bit of recovery time before i turned for home on the Macclesfield Road, cycling against the biggest headwind i can remember. It really was a great feeling when i got home and although the ride was only 21 miles it was a challenging one. I will be back for more of the same soon.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Last Ride Before a Week Away

Got my last ride in this morning before i go away on holiday for a week, it was a cracker and i shall be reprising it when i come back. Headed out to Macclesfield and then onto the A536 which is a fast, sweeping and undulating road which takes you down to Congleton. I took a slight detour for a quick look at Gawsworth Hall and it's associated church. It's a really nice place for a visit and if you are a culture vulture you can attend one of the many  events they hold in their outdoor theatre which include plays and concerts. Take a picnic and a bottle of wine for the perfect evening. Anyway once down in Congleton it was a quick flip round a roundabout and back up to Wilmslow on the A34, another super smooth, super fast roller coaster of a road. Once back in Wilmslow i dropped the bike off at Royles for its first service, i hope they look after it while i am away.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Mountain Bike Ride

It's been such a beautiful day today that after going to the gym this morning i thought it would be fun to get my mountain bike out and go for some off road country fun. Jane decided to join me so we cycled up to the Middlewood Way on the main road and then set off on our route using the Middlewood Way and the canal tow paths, i always think it's cheating if you strap your bike to the car and take it to where your going to cycle.
Cycling along the towpath is great fun with lots to see and lots of great views. There were plenty of people out walking and a few tending to their canal boats and enjoying a pleasant drink. The only problem with off road cycling is getting the dreaded puncture and sure enough i got one. Fortunately i was prepared and had a new inner tube on board so completed a fast and efficient pit stop.  On a day like this you can't beat cycling off road, it's good for both body and mind.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Another Day Another Ride

Despite rather dodgy looking weather and a stiff breeze i headed out yesterday for some more training on my bike. I decided to use a route i like but add an extension to it taking in Knutsford and Mobberley which adds a few miles bringing it up to just under 35. The reason i really like this route ridden in this direction is that although you have to negotiate a few challenging hills on the way out, once you reach the top of the ride there is a long and fast downhill 10 mile cycle where you can enjoy yourself and imagine you are on the Tour. Unfortunately the dodgy weather did catch me out and i got rained on twice but lycra doesn't appear to get wet !!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Back on the Bike

Well after a couple of difficult weeks i have put my back problem behind me and resumed  training on my Trek Madone. Wouldn't say i was 100% as i picked up a cold last week and have had a tight chest for a few days, but hey life is short, it's a lovely day and the road was calling. I thought the best way to gauge my situation was to reprise an earlier ride, its just about 29 miles around the North Cheshire area and has a good combination of fast flat sections and moderately testing climbs, some short and steep and others long and not so steep. It ended up taking me 3 minutes longer than last time but considering a couldn't breath freely i am quite happy. Didn't have any problems with the dreaded traffic today and in fact the lorry drivers were amazingly courteous. The worst offenders for generally not concentrating on their driving and cutting you up or crowding you are women in those big Audi Q8's, if they have kids on board give them a very wide berth as their concentration is somewhere else. Anyway feeling good and looking forward to another run out later in the week.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Cheshire Circle Bike Ride

Just finished my 4th bike ride on my Trek Madone this afternoon. It has been an absolutely beautiful day and i covered 28 miles around Cheshire in just under two hours. This is the second time i have done this route but this time i did it in a clockwise direction which made it a little more difficult as there are more hills to climb and less to fly down. However despite that i beat my original time by a couple of minutes. I am getting more used to riding the bike now and some of the initial aches and pains are fading away, which is good. If the weather holds i think i will be out again on Sunday.

Pictures of the new Apple Iphone due in June or July

Some rather silly engineer from Apple left a near final version of the new 4G Apple iphone in a bar in Cupertino, silly boy. But hey at least we get a look at our new phone, looks pretty cool with the new square sides.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Second Ride on My New Trek Madone

I have been out for my second ride this morning on my new Trek Madone. As you can see on the map below i rode a nice loop around Cheshire totalling just under 42 miles in just over 3 hours. Pretty much all of my body is aching now but hopefully a good nights sleep will sort that out !!

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

It's Just So Easy

The Apple Ipad is just so simple and easy to use that even a cat can master it.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Tiger Woods Nike Parody Add. It's Just Not Enough Babe

Hilarious parody of the new Nike advert featuring Tiger Woods.

First Ride On My New Trek Madone

Finally picked up all the gear i needed from the bike store yesterday in readiness for a week of good weather as forecast by the BBC, and sure enough this morning dawned bright and sunny. After some initial messing around i finally got underway at 11.00 and rode out towards the sun !! What a revelation a road bike is after being used to riding a mountain bike, those smooth tyres make all the difference and i was soon racing ahead like the wind. The Trek Madone felt like a Porsche, fast, taught, great handling and comfortable as well, so much so that i couldn't believe the pace that i could keep up, especially on the flat. I had chosen a route which i felt wouldn't be too difficult for my first ride with a nice mixture of flat runs and hills. Before i knew it, at the turn of the hour i was well over half way round and feeling good, another thirty minutes saw me back home making a welcome capuchinno and pondering how i had managed to cover nearly 25 miles in an hour and a half, this is certainly something i never managed on a mountain bike. The route i had chosen was a lot of fun although a couple of the hills were a bit tougher than i thought they might be, but hey first time out what did i expect ? Pretty sure tomorrow will bring a few aches and pains however i hope to be back in the saddle on Thursday, weather permitting. I am sure that all the top makes of bikes at this level perform really well but it has to be said that i am very impressed with the Trek Madone, for the odd moment or two you can imagine that you are Lance Armstrong on the Tour De France, ok perhaps not !! 

Below is a map of the route i covered on a website called Map my Ride, which is a pretty cool place if your into cycling or running.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Will it Blend

Here he goes, blending the ipad ! bit of a waste really but hey what a blender.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

More messing with HDR

Here are a couple more HDR images. The first one is an apartment building on Aytoun Street in Manchester and the second is the view from the top of the Sears Tower in Chicago, looking West.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

For kids of the 50s


You couldn't put your Famous Five book down.
Hornby Trains, Potato Men, Muffin the Mule.
Making a den, going tracking.
The park had real rides that you might fall off & they were fun.
Leap frog, Simon Says.

Torchy the Battery Boy was on TV. Swearing wasn’t.
TV came in black and white with one channel until ITV was launched.
With ITV came the first TV adverts and how excited we were to watch them!
The first episode of Coronation Street, Compact, Emergency Ward 10!

Elvis was the King, Bill Haley was rocking around the clock, Bing Crosby found True Love & Perry Como was just going to Catch A Falling Star.

Steam trains.
Cobbled streets, The White Man, grandma donkey-stoning the steps.
Co-op divi, milk delivered to your doorstep in glass bottles, the Rag & Bone man.

Dandelion & Burdock, Cream Soda, Sarsparilla.
Money back when you returned the glass bottles to the shop.

Rows of desks in school, pump bags, muffs, gaberdines, gymslips & satchels.
Woollen balaclavas. Socks that only stayed if you turned the tops over wide elastic bands.
The cane, the strap, the pump.
Nitty Nora.
Passing & failing, winning & losing. Times tables.
Squeaky blackboards, standing in the corner with your face to the wall.

Whit walks, Maypoles, liquorice water.

Jack Frost on the inside of the windows, seeing your breath in the bedroom, being tucked in with your hot water bottle.

Dad banking up the fire or taking out the ashes. Cleaning the brasses with Duraglit.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Dairyhouse Ln,Macclesfield,United Kingdom

Thursday, 11 March 2010

A story from the quirky state of California

A story from the quirky state of California..............
A couple who tried to save water and money by 
removing their lawn are being taken to court by
 the city of Orange. Quan and Angelina Ha, 
who now have a scheduled court date, decided to
replace the grass on their front lawn with 
wood chips in 2008. The Ha’
said they'd just had a 
baby and began to think about her future 
and the effect of what is
happening to their environment.
Thus they made a decision to replace
their water thirsty grass with the
far more environmentally 
friendly chippings. At a time when
  Southern California cities fine
people for overwatering 
their thirsty lawns, the Ha’s said they've 
saved hundreds of thousands
of gallons of water and 
drastically lowered their water bill.
But the city cited them for violating a law 
that requires ‘live landscaping’
to cover 40 percent 
of the yard. The couple planted drought-tolerant 
plants last year but the
city said it wasn't enough.
The city said it wants them to come up with a 
compliance plan.

Ah yes, this is the land of the free!

Monday, 1 March 2010

Last HDR

Just finished my last HDR image of my first foray into the technique. It's the statue of Constantine the Great outside York Minster.