Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

I do, tonight.

I haven't been to the cinema in ages but have been feeling a bit down lately so needed to treat myself and being lost in a film should do the trick. Off to see Watchmen tonight if this post's title didn't give it away.

I've been thinking about adding stuff about my gaming pursuits to this blog but decided not to bother, keeping this for general diary stuff and posting pics. Accordingly I've started http://fightingfantasist.blogspot.com/ but I imagine the content might be pretty opaque to the non-gamer. Partly that's why it's elsewhere and not on here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Coop on schmap.com?

I got an interesting email this morning from the people at Schmap which appears to be a form of travel guide for mobile computing (smartphones etc.). They use pics from Flickr to illustrate these guides after seeking permission from the original photographer.

I was on Flickr for about two days before I realised that trying to keep up with the social networking side of things was akin to trying to drink from a hosepipe and very rapidly gave up on it although I did post some pics of Dudley and a few interesting Birmingham/Black Country graveyard shots.

The Schamp people have asked for permission to use this pic from Key Hill Cemetery in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter, one of the few of my graveyard shots (and probably one of the least interesting as well) which I believe I dubbed "Evil Child" since it's a bloody disturbing piece of sculpture.

Key Hill is a great place for photography, I keep meaning to return there for more shots. It's sited next door to the railway and tram station and I discovered the place because it's on lower ground than the platforms and visible from the train.

I'll wait and see what happens as regards this turning up in the Birmingham guide. The cynical part of me suspects that this might just a carefully targeted mailshot aimed at drumming up interest and awareness of their product.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Two shots taken from the viaduct at Burton-on-Trent of a lovely Victorian grain warehouse but a frustrating abortive photographic session due to the huge amount of visual clutter that ruined just about every accesible angle upon the place.

Back in September I decided to go for a train ride out to Burton to visit the highly-regarded games shop Spirit Games and take the camera with me. Picked up some bits and pieces from Spirit Games including a Go board that I'd been after for a while, but left early due to a bit of contact lens troubles. So, Go apart, a bit of a letdown of a day. I wasn't impressed at the train fare costing significantly more than it would have cost me to just drive over there and park in the town - surely this isn't sending out the right message?

Rally Scalextric at Wolverhampton

Wolverhampton Scalextric Club had to move premises last year as the Strykers bowling alley on the A449 closed down and evicted them from the rooms they were renting. They then moved to Aldersley Stadium in a nicer part of the city and held a combined charity fund-raiser, official opening and rally event yesterday which I attended. The charity was Acorns Children's Hospices, the club's chosen charity and the tape-cutting/speech-marking duties were handled by Nicky Grist, co-driver to the late great Colin McRae MBE and someone whose voice has probably nagged you a lot if you've ever played any of the McRae computer games.

Somebody else's report with photos is here

With my social responsibility hat on for the moment (which I appreciate doesn't fit very well) it was good to see so many young kids at the event. The Wolverhampton club used to be outside of the residential areas and therefore had a membership mostly of adults who drove and could get there easily on a night, now that the clubroom is in the middle of a residential area and associated with Claregate Youth Club it seems a bit easier for kids to get to and probably more acceptable to parents. I think young lads (and to quote H.G. Wells' Little Wars, the more intelligent sort of girl who likes boys' games and books) can benefit from a hobby like racing Scalextric cars teaching kids good lessons about discipline, analytical problem solving, good sportsmanship and acceptable behaviour (which our beloved ZanNuLabour overlords and social engineers would call citizenship) and it keeps them off the streets. And everybody knows that geeky hobbies are the new cool.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Victorian Canals

Two manipulated shots of Black Country canals. Photographed in Tividale, England and Stourbridge, England.

Three Archways

Three studies of arches photographed at the ruins of Dudley Priory in Dudley, England.