Monthly archive

Haven’t you got better things to do?


I may have accidentally got a bit drunken last night and ordered a load of Achewood merchandise.

In other news, I seem to be having an attack of the clumsy. I dropped a bowl in the sink last night and broke a plate. I just broke another plate the other day by putting it on a hot ring on the cooker by mistake. It is nothing to do with the drinking.

I now have only 2 plates. Luckily I also only have 2 friends, and they usually do not both visit me at the same time, or I might have a problem. I only have one knife anyway, so maybe it is not an issue.

I am reading Great Expecktations which is really good. It is not a fusty old book about old people living in olden times, like you thought; it is quite exciting and funny in fact. It is by Keith Dickens or some such name, I wonder if he has written anything else.

News of the Lard

It is an exciting time in keithlard world as I have been doing a lot of intresting things, programming Ruby, eating curry ekcetera and investergating various topics. On Monday I went to LRUG which is a special holding area for London Ruby freaks so that they do not endanger normal members of society, and drank a great deal and made a new friend rlivsey, which is a super chap, Also yesterday I had a trip to the music shop to see my friend Bob, I do not know if that is really his name but he looks just like the sort of fellow that should be called Bob, you know exactly what I mean.

I have been doing a lot of music lately eg viz. trying to play the slide guitar, which is quite difficult if you do not know, and I got various bits of guitar equipment such as strings, picks ekcetera. Also some intresting DVDs, which is on Blues Harmonica and Jazz Sax, so it should be quite entertaining watching me trying to play three instruments at once (especially playing sax with a harmonica in my mouth).

In other news, I am reading Peter Matthiessen’s The Snow Leopard which is an absolutely fantastic book and full of such beautiful and poetic writing that I am reading each page twice for maximum enjoyment. It is great travel writing talking about a hard journey on foot through the Himalaya into Tibet, but it is also about Buddhism, Zen and spirituality, and perhaps if you walk long among high and silent mountains it is hard to avoid thinking about that stuff. I highly recommend it anyway, even if you are not intrested in leopards.

I guess I have been feeling pretty low lately due to my girlfriend packing me in, or not actually my girlfriend but I suppose I had started to think of her that way, so it is good that I seem to have got the zest for life back. PS this is not a plea for sympathy. (Just send cash.)




I could not sleep last night so I got up and sat by the window in the living room for a while, just enjoying the stars and watching the clouds roll by. Orion was so clear that I thought I would take a quick photo or two. I have done a post about Orion before, but hopefully you will not mind.

I have magnified a small section of the three ‘sword’ stars hanging below Orion’s belt, the middle one is actually the Great Nebula if you do not know. It is probably one of my favourite vast interstellar clouds of glowing dust and gas. You can see that it is quite fuzzy compared to the stars above and below it (even allowing for the stars being smeared out owing to cheap optics and my heartbeat).

There is a huge dark cloud in Orion where new stars are being born; the Nebula is the result of one of them illuminating a tiny section of the cloud which formed it, like a soldier lighting a cigarette in No Man’s Land. I do not know if you like to find out about the Universe and stars ekcetera but I do, as I am pretty intrested in local history.

This is with the EOS350D and 200mm Sigma zoom, hand-held out of my window at ISO1600 and at a 1 second exposure (steadied against the window sill!) I have cut out the red channel using the Channel Mixer tool in GIMP so as to reduce the skyglow and cloud. That is why it looks a bit green and sickly. Normally with star photos you can get good results with fairly savage compression using the Curves tool as a total bandpass filter, but I wanted to show you how fuzzy the nebula looks! You can see this quite easily with cheap binoculars in any case, or if you have amazingly powerful eyes that you borrowed from some eagle.