Monday, 31 August 2009

Typing Finger...

video
Another test animation...
The idea is to have the finger type out individual letters that will appear in the white panel toward the bottom right...

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream...

I think you were in it...

Airer Maid Restoration...

I grew up dodging my Grandma's stockings and Grandad's vests which dangled above my head from the airer over the range...
This set of airer hangers belonged to Linda's family and have a least 15 layers of paint on them...
Fortunately the thickness of the paint makes them easy to take back to the metal...
I haven't decided on the finish yet and am tempted just to give them a coat of some clear sealer rather than paint them...
The airer must be sorted out before the winter's grip or I'm going to have to dodge around horrid wobbly plastic clothes airers for the next 4 months...
No, we don't have a tumble dryer...

This project finally sees completion here:
The Back Room

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Adventures In Modern Cycling No. 5: East Beach. Selsey

This ride is essentially a reliability trial for the 'Dobson' which I have decided is a sports/tourer bicycle...
I shall dress appropriately:
  • White Airtex shirt
  • Knee length shorts
  • White ankle socks
  • Cycle shoes
  • Paisley cravat
  • Sensible sunglasses
  • A badge featuring a depiction of Eastbourne's De La Warr Pavilion
  • Canvas 'Pippy' bag
After leaving Bognor Regis I join the Selsey road at the village of Hunston.
This road is one of the most dangerously congested in the area. I knew there was a cycle-way that would take me nearly into Selsey but didn't know where it was so took my life in my hands and braved the main road.
This turned out to be a good (?) move as I spotted another pair of feral shoes:
On reaching Selsey I stopped off at Enticott's Bakery for a well earned snack of bread and butter pudding washed down with coffee:
The poor child working behind the counter in the bakery became a little confused when I asked for the coffee and had to consult her colleague on how it was made.
Awww, bless...
On to East Beach and my goal:
The place where Eric Coates stood when, looking over to Bognor Regis, he was inspired to write 'By The Sleepy Lagoon'...
The ride home was uneventful save for having to adjust the gear cable...
I found the cycle-path (route 88) which made the return journey pleasant...
The bike behaves well but the saddle has to go as it puts me to far forward and there's no more room for adjustment...
Close to home I rode up onto the prom and suddenly realised I was riding 'look, no hands!'
This is a reliable bicycle...

Infants In Peril No. 3

I was outraged to see these poor mites being openly traded at a local market...
I remonstrated with the female proprietor of this disgusting enterprise...
"F&%k off nutter!" was her succinct reply...

Thursday, 27 August 2009

O.S.M. Cycle Ind. The 'Dobson'...

George Bernard Shaw said, 'Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will."
Which is basically the process I used to build this bicycle...
There are those who may assume that I named this bicycle the 'Dobson' in homage to my favourite out-of-print pamphleteer...
They would be wrong...
The name 'Dobson' comes from a steep hill in my home village of Summerbridge in the Yorkshire dales.
As a child I could never ride my Vindec Speedster up Dobson Bank. Since then, every time I've built a bicycle I find myself thinking 'could I ride this up Dobson..?'
The years have passed under various sets of wheels that have taken me up every major climb in the country (I used to be a member of Audax U.K.) but Dobson Bank remains the bench-mark...
Another of the influences for this build is, obviously, the Pashley Guv'nor (how much??!!!) but I found that, when the handlebars were in the 'racing' position, my back hurt...
I've added Mucky Nutz beer bottle bar plugs supplied by Charlie the Bike Monger...
Sadly non of the bottled beers I like have printed tops...
Gold chain and a leather chain-stay protector supplied by Freshtripe Bikes...
My beloved Lepper saddle...
I took the bike out for a test ride and it's as near perfect as I could hope for. I didn't even need to adjust the gears. They worked first time...
(Still needs a 20 tooth rear sprocket or I need to get fitter...)
I can now say that my 'bicycle building phase' is over. At last....

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Hooting Yard Parp-O-Phone: Update...

I have been asked, by a Mr. Dobson, for an update on the Hooting Yard Story Silo (which I really want to re-christen 'The Parp-o-phone')...
I am currently editing the contents of 162 half-hour long pod-casts into individual stories...
Each pod-cast takes around and hour to edit if I can get my hands on enough thimbles and nougatine....
I can usually find the time to edit 2 pod-casts per day if the wind blows from a favourable direction...
Errr...?
This stage may take a little while longer...

I am also on the look out for a suitable speaker system to add to this item and have already rejected 3 possibles due to them being impossible to fashion into complimentary add-ons (no plankton smoothing brackets)...
In the mean-while I spend a good deal of my time in the Kaleidoscopic Lettuce Museum drinking petrol and barking at pigeons...

I hope this answers your question Mr. D.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Feral Shoes No. 4

A vain attempt to fly away together ends in disaster for this pair seen in Bognor Regis...

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Oooh! Treasure...

One of the advantages of 'doing a bit of gardening' in older, overgrown gardens is that I uncover exciting items like this cast iron wheel...
The owner of the garden was quite happy to let me take it away asking 'are you going to sell it?'
When I replied that I intended cleaning it up, painting it and using it as an ornament I could tell this caused him some inner turmoil...
'An ornament?' he said 'Y'mean like a vase..?'
It was originally one of four wheels on a sheep feeder he tells me...
With luck (and a bit of digging) I might find the other three..!
Joy..!

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

The Face With Green Lightbulb Eyes Mounted On A Stick...

Finally finished...
I en-vision this piece as being a comforting night-light to be placed at the bedside of some infant terrified of the dark...

Then again, perhaps not...

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Feral Shoes No. 3

A 'modern' take on the sandal seen on the Aldingbourne/Westergate road.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

More food...

Sausage sandwiches (sigh...)
Always use a good quality sausage (O'Hagan's provide my sausage of choice) you don't want anything full of ear 'oles, eye 'oles and arse 'oles...
I alternate between Heinz Tomato Ketchup and H.P. or Daddie's Brown Sauce as a dressing...

Adventures In Modern Cycling No 4: Halnaker Windmill

Dull and overcast day today...
Warm though..
Halnaker (pronounced Ha'naker) Windmill is one of those local landmarks that I tend to pass saying 'I must go there one day'...
The day has come...
The windmill is accessed via a disused part (not under tarmac) of the Roman road Stane Street. It's quite steep and having to lift the bike over stiles tends to pale after about 3 but, despite the gloomy sky, it's worth it...
From The Inexplicable World of Outa_Spaceman...

The insides have been stripped out and it would make a great overnight shelter for the tent-less nomad...
From The Inexplicable World of Outa_Spaceman...

The views of the local area are spectacular but, sadly, the camera in my phone can't do them justice...
From The Inexplicable World of Outa_Spaceman...

Having obeyed the dire warnings prohibiting cycle riding on the way up the anarchist in me breaks out and I bump and rattle all the way back down the hill to the main road (stopping to negotiate the stiles again)..
The return journey takes me down a lane whose name has me in fits of laughter...

An idea did occur to me as I stood by the windmill...
Local people seem very animated in their opposition to wind turbines...
Why not just build them into old windmills..?

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Food and Drink...

Flap Jack is my cycling fuel of choice...
I prefer not to buy commercially available Flap Jack and, therefore, make my own...
From The Inexplicable World of Outa_Spaceman...

My recipe goes like this (sorry about the 'Napoleonic' style quantities):

Ingredients:

100 grams of butter
100 grams of demerara sugar
250 grams of porridge oats
2 tsps of golden syrup
A couple of handfuls of any dried fruit available.

Method:
Melt butter and sugar in a pan over a low heat.
Add golden syrup then stir in oats and fruit.
Spread to an even depth in a well greased oven-proof dish.
Cook in a pre-heated oven at 180c for about 25 mins.
Cut into squares whilst still warm then allow to cool.
Wrap a couple of squares in grease-proof paper, cycle off to a distant point, remove from grease-proof paper and eat them.

(BTW Linda says this isn't 'cooking'..)

Linda has decided that it may be a good idea to make her own plum wine...
From The Inexplicable World of Outa_Spaceman...

There's a good deal of furious activity going on in this demijohn...
'Only another 6 months to go' says Linda...

The Hooting Yard Parp-O-Phone...



Built into the head of a Pang Hill orphan, nourished by a bottle of Dr. Gillespie's Vital Nerve Tonic and standing on a Von Secker plinth the 'Hooting Yard Parp-O-Phone' provides hours of Hooting Yard style entertainment read by the genial Mr. Frank Key...
Very soon everyone will have the opportunity to bid for this item the proceeds of which will go to the fund for out-of-print pamphleteers.
Watch the Hooting Yard site for further details...

P.S. It should be noted that this piece has nothing in the slightest, infinitesimal way at all to do with 'Steam Punk'...

Feral Shoes No. 2

From The Inexplicable World of Outa_Spaceman...

Spotted on Felpham Beach during a wood collection expedition...

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Blue Plaque Spotting No. 2: William Blake...

I don't know why I didn't post this earlier as it's, literally, just around two corners from where I live...
From The Inexplicable World of Outa_Spaceman...

Much is made locally of Blake's association with Felpham, mainly by the redoubtably stout ladies of the Women's Institute who become all wistful and dewy-eyed at the mention of his name...
I bet he wouldn't get invited to any of their fashionable garden parties if he were around today...
Blake gets two plaques, the above being on the side of the cottage where he lived and, below, outside The Fox public house (an establishment catering for 'families' and saloon bar xenophobes) where he got into a bit of a tussle which led to him leaving the area...
From The Inexplicable World of Outa_Spaceman...

A vain streak in me wonders if any of the pubs I've been arrested outside of will one day feature a similar tribute...
Almost certainly not...

Mortal Coil (Shuffled Off...)

We are pitched headlong into despair at the passing of 'Pinky'...
Not the friendliest lovable ball of fluff you were ever likely to encounter but endearing in her own way...

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Feral Shoes No. 1

Seen hanging from the barriers around a culvert on the Oving/Drayton road...

Lizard or Newt..?

I nearly (accidentally) cut this little cutie in half with a pair of garden shears...
I found another five of them in the undergrowth...
Having tried, and failed, to identify it I have abandoned my ambition to become a top naturalist al-la David Attenborough...
For any top naturalists reading this, who wish to further expose my ignorance, it had an orange underside...

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Adventures In Modern Cycling No 3: Goodwood Motor Circuit and Beyond...

First a word about appropriate attire for a bicycle expedition on a day when the barometer says 'set fair'.
I am wearing:
  1. White Airtex Shirt.
  2. Flannels.
  3. Stout Brogues (Brown is acceptable as this is a countryside trip.)
  4. Solar Topee.
Today's destination, the Goodwood Motor Circuit but first a quick stop at the Hotham Park Country Fair where I saw a gang of unruly children harass a big tortoise named Percy.


I bought a couple of interesting tins from local historian Sylvia Endacott's stand.


I could have spent a fortune there but, the road is calling me onward.
Along the Bognor-Chichester cycleway to the outskirts of Chichester (via Oving and Drayton) to...


I had hoped to visit the Vitra Cafe but it was closed.
I had hoped to see some cars hurtling round but a 'Roller Marathon' event was in progress which involved lots of lycra-clad be-wheeled young people coasting around the track to the accompaniment of disco music (I'd assumed, when I arrived it might be a Rolls Royce Track Day). Disappointed I went off to the 'other' cafe (that has something to do with the flying club) and paid £3.40 (!) for a very small mug of coffee and a biscuit style snack.
I'm not complaining, I've learnt a lesson. I should have brought my flask and some of my home-made flap-jack.
Disappointment not withstanding, I did manage to get a picture of my favourite bit of the Goodwood circuit:


How cool is that..?
An elevated shed with a Rolex watch.

Whilst in this area I thought it would be useful ride over to Lavant and investigate the Centrurion Way cycle-path which would take me back to Chichester...
Smart move! There was a cricket match at Lavant..


I stayed for the first innings, which ended at 86 all out.
Got to say the bowler was a bit of a demon.

On to the Centurion Way...

This is the best cycle-path I've been on since I rode the York-Selby cycleway.
Dappled sunlight through tree-lined peace and quiet down into the center of Chichester.


Home for a well-earned cuppa and sausage sandwich in my shed.
Now that's what I call a civilised Sunday afternoon...

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Public Information Films and O.S. Maps...

To aid my bicycle forays into the void I have decided to update my tattered Ordnance Survey map of the local area...
On a whim I tried searching the electric interweb to find out if the O.S. 'key' has ever appeared on a tea-towel and discovered this public information film detailing the making of O.S. Maps...

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Sundry Mortifications No. 2

Something I was beginning to suspect about myself is horribly evidenced in this picture Linda took of me...


I am turning into my Grandad...

Uh oh...

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Linda...

Linda loves to hug barn-yard animals...
Her attempts to force her affections on them usually ends up with her being bitten, trampled on and/or covered in mud...
Actually, come to think of it, anything Linda attempts usually ends up with her covered in mud...
Imagine her joy at finding some potential 'huggies' that didn't run away...
Awwww...

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Adventures in Modern Cycling No2: Boxgrove Priory

Continuing the bicycle reliability trials, off I go to...

Boxgrove Priory
Errr..?
So, off the pub then...

I recommend Pheasant Plucker, brewed on the premises, 5% and still quite drinkable...

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Sundry Mortifications No. 1

Every now and then I am obliged, usually at Linda's insistence, to apply personal grooming/hygiene products and attend social functions...
I find these situations... errrr..?
Difficult.
I'm not, by nature, a gregarious person preferring my own company and though my parents made sure I had a comprehensive understanding of when the words 'please' and 'thank-you' were appropriate, was familiar and competent with any eating utensil I could conceivably encounter at the dinner table they failed to prepare me for the making of 'small talk'...
In the past my solution to these trying circumstances was to drink heavily which led to many (in retrospect) hilarious misunderstandings...
So...
I have been invited to a garden party and have devised a plan to make sure that I behave myself...
I have bought a selection of 'Real Ales' to review throughout the afternoon...

01) Theakstons Old Peculier.I notice that the label indicates that Old Peculier is now a 'legend'...
This beer takes me on a trip down memory lane (a cul-de-sac)...
I remember when the only place I could get a pint of Old Pec was in the (men only) back bar of the Prospect Hotel in Harrogate, where it was sold from a small barrel on the rear counter, unless I was able to get to either the White Bear or the King's something-or-other in Masham...
It tastes as heavy as I remember and the idea of drinking it is better than reality. I still prefer Theakston's XB over Old Pec...

02) Welton's Old Harry.
First time I've tried this beer. Non descript really, bland even...I notice from the label that if it's poured correctly the yeast stays in the bottle...
Suffice to say that I ended up with a cloudy pint and a clean bottle...

03) Whitstable Bay Organic AleI like this...
Light, almost fruity...
I'm a little perplexed about the 'organic' tag but suspect a marketing ploy...
Yes I'd drink it again...

04) Black Sheep AleBland...
If I'm honest my favourite beer is Betty Stoggs Bitter from Cornwall and everything else just pales alongside it...
The garden party was very pleasant and I talked at excessive length about my new bicycle (propped up in the garden) to a bloke called Freddy...
All's well that ends well and nobody had to die...

Adventures In Modern Cycling No 1: Pagham Spit...

What better way to spend a sunny early Sunday morning than a quick spin out on the bicycle..?
Rather that than pounding along the prom, immodestly dressed, drenched in sweat and wearing ridiculous sunglasses anyway...
Into a light breeze at a stately pace toward Pagham Harbour where, conveniently, access 'runways' have been placed to allow the less able to enjoy the shore line...
The air is gently filled with the sound of church bells, wheeling birds and lapping water...I rest for a brew, a tab and to empty my mind...
From behind me I hear the slap of flip-flops...
A 'large' couple appear along side me...
'duh's nuffin 'ere..!' Explodes Mr. Bullethead...
'Nah..' Says Mrs. Bullethead...
Exit Bulletheads...
After much tinkering the bicycle is behaving well and I'm beginning to feel I may have judged it to harshly...I doubt if it will ever be my favourite bike but I'll probably have it for the rest of my life (because no one will want to steal it...)My phone brings reality back and for once I'm glad I didn't leave it a home as Linda tells me that she is preparing sausage sandwiches that should be ready in about 20 minutes...
With the wind on my back I'm home in 18 minutes...