Messing about with photos


Originally uploaded by rutty.

I’m starting to get a bit addicted to taking photographs. I can’t help myself sometimes. If the sun comes out I seem to want to grab my camera and snap away at any old crap.

Sharing these images is easy with Flickr too. I’ve paid for the pro access so that I can have as many sets as I want and have a very generous monthly upload limit. It’s a great community site too, with loads of groups to join and (yet more) forums to post in.

I’ve joined one group that enjoys images that have been overly-saturated and I’ve decided to have a go at making some of these images myself. I’m only using ifranview at the moment, but the results are interesting even with that simple tool.

I’ll have a go with the GIMP soon too, then I might start making more complex modifications to my photos and see where we go.

And when the sun comes out I can step outside and take photos of every little thing again.


The Idle Hands

While I was making myself a bit sozzled in Bolsover this weekend with my mate Rog, I got to listen to The Idle Hands in the Black Bull. They’re a classic British blues/rock band and they were kicking up a storm in there. Excellent stuff.

I really should listen to more blues.

We had a great time in Bolsover, even managing to fit a kebab and a fight into the proceedings. We weren’t fighting but two rough-looking girls were certainly going hammer-and-tongs at each other in the Swan. There was broken glass and clumps of hair everywhere – scary stuff!

Robert Jordan

One of my favourite authors, Robert Jordan, has been diagnosed with a potentially fatal disease called amyloidosis says

He’s written the expansive fantasy series The Wheel of Time, something that I’ve been reading for what seems decades. Whatever happens, I really, really want him to finish off that series although after ten volumes so far you really have to wonder how many more he’s intending to write (apparently only up to twelve).

Everybody knows or has heard of someone who was told they had five years to live, only that was twenty years ago and here they guy is, still around and kicking. I mean to beat him. I sat down and figured out how long it would take me to write all of the books I currently have in mind, without adding anything new and without trying rush anything. The figure I came up with was thirty years. Now, I’m fifty-seven, so anyone my age hoping for another thirty years is asking for a fair bit, but I don’t care. That is my minimum goal. I am going to finish those books, all of them, and that is that.

I hope he beats that number of years and continues to write his books. His novel jackets all state that he intends to “write until they nail down the lid on my coffin”. Let’s hope that that day isn’t soon.

Get well soon.


A married couple was on holiday in Jamaica. They were touring around the marketplace looking at the goods and such, when they passed a small sandal shop. From inside they heard the shopkeeper with a Jamaican accent say, “You foreigners! Come in. Come into my humble shop.”

So the married couple went in. The Jamaican said to them, “I have some special sandals I think you would be interested in. Dey make you wild at sex.”

Well, the wife was really interested in buying the sandals after what the man claimed, but her husband felt he really didn’t need them, being the sex god he was. The husband asked the man, “How can sandals do that?”

The Jamaican replied, “Just try dem on, Man.”

Well, the husband, after some badgering from his wife, finally gave in and tried them on. As soon as he slipped them onto his feet, he got this wild look in his eyes, something his wife hadn’t seen in many years! In the blink of an eye, the husband grabbed the Jamaican, bent him violently over a table, yanked down his pants, ripped down his own pants, and grabbed a firm hold of the Jamaican’s hips.

The Jamaican then began screaming, “YOU GOT DEM ON DE WRONG FEET!”

Clumber Park

Clumber Park Chapel

Clumber Park Chapel

Originally uploaded by rutty.

Good Friday also saw us visit Clumber Park. This is an excellently maintained park not far south of Doncaster owned by the National Trust.

The image on the right is of the fabulous chapel there. It’s described as a “Cathedral in miniature” and this is a good way of describing it. It’s quite ornate inside but about 1/10th the size of a proper cathedral. Lovely building.

The rest of the park is quite lovely too. There are loads of paths for woodland walks and a “pleasure area” for throwing frizbees and having picnics. There’s a bike-hire place for those wanting to get run-over by cars or impaled on exposed branches on woodland paths.

There was a conservation centre there too, but it was closed for the bank-holiday. It would have been nice to see in there.

Well worth a day out for the family, or if you just like walking. Free entry for members of the National Trust too.

Rufford Park

Rufford park

Rufford Park

Originally uploaded by rutty.

I’ve been busy with the camera again, though it’s taken me a week to get these photos on-line.

Last Good Friday we decided to go and see some of the nicer bits of the local countryside. Thankfully, the weather was really nice (unlike the rest of the extended weekend) and I managed to annoy my girlfriend by stopping to take loads of photgraphs while tramping around Rufford Park in Nottinghamshire.

It’s a lovely park. Loads of open spaces, a nice abbey, somewhere to eat and miles of paths to wander around. There’s an old mill at one side of the lake too, not that I took any pictures of that.

Have a look in my Flickr gallery for more photos if you’re interested.

Car fixed. No more sucking.

My local car mechanics eventually came back from their extended Easter Holiday and they’ve fixed my car. It was the Catalytic converter as expected. Apparently it had completely collapsed – no wonder my engine was all choked up.

It cost me £204 and I had a bit of a discussion with the garage owner over Visa transaction charges. He wasn’t there when I initially wanted to pay, so one of the mechanics phoned him up when I offered to pay by Visa. Eventually this guy suggested that they’d have to either charge me an extra 17% to use my card or perhaps I’d prefer to use my debit card or cash. I don’t bloody think so! I said I’d come back and pay later.

It’s too late in the month for me to have £200 laying around in my account, so naturally I have to use Visa for this. The owner was there when I got back so we discussed this transaction charge. He seemed to suggest that he was doing me a favour by offering to allow me to use my credit card rather than cash or debit card. Well, excuse me, but surely it’s an essential service in a garage to have the option of paying by visa? He said he didn’t know how much the transaction charge would be so when his mechanic phoned up he just “guessed”. Well, he went off to find out how much the charge actually was and it turned out to be £4.20. Well, that’s 2% not fucking 17%.

I paid and left. As good service I’ve had from these guys before I can’t honestly say that I’ll be going back again. At the moment cash is tight and I need to be able to pay by Visa without having an argument. There’s another garage closer to work that I’m sure would be pleased to service my car next month.