The blog of a Sci-Fi Geek

Sat 20 December , 08

On the skids.

Filed under: Personal — Tags: , — SFG @ 14:24

Due to increased attention from certain quarters, this posting has had to be removed for my own good.

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Tue 13 May , 08

New Car

Filed under: Personal — Tags: , , , , — SFG @ 19:06

Just over two weeks ago I bought a new car.
In February I went to Donegal for a weekend. Despite living in Northern Ireland for over ten years it was my first trip to that part of the world. I went with four friends, my wife, our dog and my camera.

Where we stayed, Dungloe, had a wonderful sense of isolation to it, despite being part of a small development. A couple of miles down the road there was an almost deserted, secluded little windswept beach which was a definite high-point of the trip.
I vowed that we would be back.
The only problem was my beloved car, a ’98 Seat Arosa, really wasn’t up to the task of taking on the roads of Donegal. Don’t get me wrong, the main roads and motorways are fine, but some of the little twisty-windy roads that we went on tested my cars suspension to it’s maximum.
If I was to make good on my vow of returning I really needed a different motor to do it.

Which brings me to this post.

(more…)

Thu 20 March , 08

Passing of a Prophet

Filed under: Personal — SFG @ 13:14

It’s with deep sadness that I write this.
Despite never knowing him personally, I know, and acknowledge, the contributions that Arthur C. Clarke has made to modern society.

It’s not for nothing that he is often referred to as the grand-daddy of science fiction. Marking his 90th birthday last year, he told fans: “I want to be remembered most as a writer. I want to entertain readers and hopefully stretch their imaginations as well.

“If I have given you delight by aught that I have done, let me lie quiet in that night, which shall be yours anon.” 

Well, you may lie quietly now Arthur. Yours was an intellect that will be missed by many disciplines.

 Arthur C. Clarke, 1917-2008

A few links for the more curious
http://lakdiva.org/clarke/1945ww
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geostationary
http://www.geekculture.com/joyoftech/joyarchives/1085.html

Wed 16 January , 08

Outside the Government, Beyond the Police

Filed under: Personal — SFG @ 13:10
Tonight, 9pm, BBC 2

Mon 10 December , 07

Nikon D3 – preview

Filed under: D3, Personal — SFG @ 12:43

Today I just got shipping confirmation of my new digital camera – and my very first digital SLR camera; the Nikon D3.

Nikon D3

Nikon D3 specs:
– 12.1-megapixel FX format (full frame) CMOS sensor
– 3-inch 920,000-pixel VGA viewfinder with a 170-degree viewing angle
– a 51-point autofocus system with 15 cross-type AF points
– 200-25600 ISO range

I will be posting more on this tomorrow once I have it in my hands.
Needless to say, at the moment I am grinning like a cheshire cat. (8+D

Mon 17 September , 07

DSV-1 Liberator

Filed under: DSV-1, Personal — SFG @ 12:29

As a follow-up to this entry I made in March this year, I can now report that I am the proud owner of a partially assembled DSV-1 Liberator resin model.

It needs a lot of restoration work doing to it. Paint needs removing. Panels that were attached wonky need re-attaching straight.
I’m going to start on the paint stripping this week (today actually). I really don’t want to damage any of the kit so I’m going to have to be super-careful.
I’ve bought some fine grit wet ‘n’ dry and I’ll be sourcing a scalpel and a set of small files of assorted shapes for the more intricate work.

I already have many photos detailing some of the botches that have been made to the model so far (see below), but as an example of what it could end up looking like take a look-see here. This is the exact same model that I have. I can, at this moment, only dream of a finished model like that one.

Rolling over each thumbnail provides a description of that image.001002003
005006007
008009010
011012Wonky Weapons Strut

I think from all these images you can see that the paint hasn’t been applied too thickly, as the detail of the model is still clearly visible. This should mean the paint clean-up will hopefully be pain free. We’ll see.

Since taking the images above I have actually broken this down to it’s main units; 3 weapons pods with struts attached to each, the (assembled) drive unit, and the main hull. During this I discovered that one of the weapons pod struts had been attached wonky (final image above), so that will need removing and reattaching straight.

A huge thank you should go out to Wayne M. He was the person that sold me this model. We had been in contact since the 20th of August, and he was simply fantastic at answering any questions I had regarding the model. He even posted it to me on approval – at his own expense, so thank you very much Wayne.

I will be keeping this blog updated on the progress I make on the model, so stay tuned. (8+)

Tue 7 August , 07

Balls of Fury

Filed under: Film, Personal — SFG @ 16:36

I’ve posted about this before on my previous blog, but as I haven’t mentioned it here before, and there’s now an exhibition date of the 29th of August (though that may be in the States – I’m not even sure if it’ll get a cinema screening over here *sigh*).
Anyway, check out the official site http://www.ballsoffury.com

Now, most people that have visited my website and specifically the About Me page, will know that I am a Def Leppard fan and, that being the case, this was too good an opportunity to pass up.

Balls of Fury is a film starring Dan Fogler and Christopher Walken, and has been described on the defleppard.com news page as “If you like Def Leppard and Christopher Walken in nail polish, you’ll like this!”
Def Leppard figures heavily into the fabric of the film. Several tracks will be featured, and Fogler sports a Leppard T-shirt during much of the film.

Some images from the film are below.

A washed-up ping-pong champion must reclaim his skills after being recruited by the government to go undercover and bust a crime lord, who hosts an annual ping-pong tournament in which all the losers are executed.

The trailer can bee seen on the Yahoo! movies page, but I have conviently provided the QuickTime trailer links below.
Small (56k)
Medium (100k)
Large (300k)
Fullscreen (opens in a new window)

Wed 1 August , 07

Time = Money

Filed under: Personal — SFG @ 17:32

I was just complaining to someone over IM that I couldn’t concentrate enough to make a blog post. Let me explain …

At the start of the year four of us worked in this department.
Now we are one man permanently down (this place essentially fired him and has no plan to replace him), but before he went another of our number arranged to have five weeks off so that he could attend a wedding in Canada as well as just take a holiday. All was cool. Then, as mentioned above, we lost one of our number.

Not wanting to cancel his Canadian holiday (nor should he), it was decided that me and the other guy should try our best to cope. So for the past two and-a-half weeks it’s been down to just two of us to do the work of four.
I’m currently approaching the end of my second set of 12 days straight.

It breaks down like this : 12 on 2 off, 12 on 2 off, 12 on 2 off.
But it’s not that simple, as half way through the 12 we also change shift (not to mention do a 17hr day). The first 5 days are day shift. Day 6 is the double-shift; day shift immediately followed by night shift. The following 6 days are night shift.

The only thing keeping me going is the thought of the overtime in next month’s pay, though I’ll be in no fit state to make use of it.
Below is a clickable thumbnail of my overtime sheet for this month. June Overtime

August’s sheet is set to be just as full.

I have a very understanding wife, even though she is currently on her summer holiday (she’s a teacher), and I have some very kind friends who keep me company on IM during the evenings.
So to all those people I say a very big thank you. (8+)

Thu 12 July , 07

Tyre Pyre

Filed under: Personal — SFG @ 08:09

So the night of the 11th has passed, and all seems to have been fairly well behaved.
The main news story doing the rounds regarding the night of the fires seems to be concerning a 50ft tall bonfire located in the Ballycraigy area of Antrim (images posted below).
Most of the concerns seem to be centering around the environmental impact fires such as these have.

Now when I was a child growing up in England obviously we celebrated Bonfire Night, and it was always a bit of a competition between the local areas over who could make the biggest and best fire. I don’t think we ever included car tyres though.
It’s estimated that in this one fire alone there were 10,000 tyres.

As far as I’m concerned these types of organised bonfires are less about tradition and more about breaking the law. It’s not big and it’s not clever (okay, so maybe it is big).
Just think of all the toxic fumes the burning of those tyres produced … (8+(

50ftFireScaling the pyre

Above images are clickable

Fire! Fire!

Fri 6 July , 07

3 Years ago today …

Filed under: Personal — SFG @ 22:45

I got married. (8+)
Today I’m in work, so we’ll be doing the celebrating (going out for food and a film) tomorrow.

My anniversary present from Geekette was a 4-port USB hub, in the shape of the TARDIS! (8+D

Click here for a 2.4 meg video demonstration of what happens when you plug something in (the sound can be turned off by a switch on the back of the unit).

EDIT – I did try to embed the .mov file but WordPress was having none of it. (8+(

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