Mindy’s First kayak Trip in Windsor

Loaded the kayak onto my car roof, the dog and some cameras and off we went to Windsor for a quick Kayak run. This was the first run for the our little dog. I popped on a life vest for her which she hated. For the first 30 minutes she wouldn’t move at all with it on but eventually she got more comfortable with it on.

Had a quick two hours paddling along between Windsor and Maidenhead on the River Thames.

 

 

Cyclists in the news again

Cyclists get a hard time. If you are a courteous, regular cyclist then you have several problems cycling in this country. The roads are busy. Car drivers are generally impatient and have no regard for cyclists. I don’t always blame them as cyclists are not regulated in any way now. They often behave poorly on the road and rely on motorists to avoid hitting them. But remember many cyclists do behave properly. There are just as many poor drivers as there are cyclists, if not more.

Cyclists are a problem for other cyclists for the same reasons. I am often cycling to work and a cyclist on the pavement will just veer into the road in front of me with no regard whatsoever. How many cyclists do you see wearing headphones and no helmets or lights? Cyclists also have to contend with pedestrians who again just get in their way and expect the cyclist to avoid them.

So todays Sun newspaper story caught my eye. A young cyclist has ploughed into a woman and killed her and is now in Court on manslaughter charges. He maintains that it was her fault because she was looking down at her phone when she crossed his path. This sort of thing has happened to me many times and I have had many near misses. This seems to be a growing problem for cyclists and motorists alike. However where I don’t empathise with this guy is he was using a track bike at the time with no front brake. Why would you cycle in London on a bike with no brakes at 20 Mph or more? In the article it also mentions he had time to shout at least twice to the woman to get out of the way. Surely enough time to stop if you had brakes or at least avoid her?

What would happen if  you drove a car deliberately knowing it had no brakes and you hit a pedestrian but the initial collision was because the pedestrian was not looking?

 

Amazon customer service

In the past Few have had one or two moans about Amazons customer service. Usually regarding their next day deliveries not arriving next day and Anazin not really caring about this issue.

We went to charge up our Ring doorbell a couple of days ago and after leaving it charging via USB for a few hours I went to switch it on and it wouldn’t. The USB port was also very hot.

So I went onto Amazons website and looked up the order from December last year. There was no return option for it as it’s been more than six months,

So after a bit of searching I found the contact us page which had two options available, Call back or Chat. I opted for a call back from them in 5 minutes. 5 minutes later they called back, I explained the problem and after ten minutes on hold at their expense, a replacement is on its way. When it arrives I have 30 days to send the old one back at Amazons expense. Straightforward. Just a bit worried that this is the 2nd doorbell we have had to return for charging issues

Ready Player One

Finished the book. Best read I’ve had for a while after “Sully”

Can’t believe he did a resl Easter Egg in his book and I’ve missed it. Still I don’t think I was going to break any Workd Records in his choice of video games. Shame he didn’t go with Titanfall, I might have had a chance. It did inspire me to fire up an emulator of Joust and Black Tiger. I need slot of practice.

Can’t wait now for the film. Just seen the trailer and it looks just like I imagined in my head.

Reading the book, reminded me of so many of favourite TV, films and games from the 80’s and 90’s. The author is American so most of the references are also American but they were still part of teenagers lives in the U.K during this time.

Newbury Retro Revival Show

This weekend we went for our annual pilgrimage to this show. As usual it was great to see a huge range of vehicles, classic cars, bicycles, motorbikes, military, Rv’s, campervans, a spitfire, emergency vehicles and more. I always enjoy coming across an old car that I or my parents have owned in the past. A Ford Cortina, Granada, Fiat 128, VW Golf GTI etc. 

We went on the Sunday and they had the  usual helicopter sightseeing tours and a motorbike display team in the Arena.

Plenty of retro stalls selling vintage car parts, furniture from the last 50 years and more. Great weather, some great food stalls and a funfair. Looking forward to the 2018 show.

My car boot sale purchases

When I go to a car boot sale, I am always on the lookout for old consoles to add to my collection. In the past couple of years however there has been fierce competition in the local car boot sales. Traders go from one car boot sale to another in the same day looking for items like consoles to buy and sell and make a quick profit.

I have no problem with this except for the tactics they use. Its almost like a hunt. They sometimes work in packs and can be rude and unscrupulous. The start by approaching cars before they even get parked up and then ask the drivers if they have any of the items they are looking for.  They also rummage through peoples car boots as they are trying to set up their stalls. I know what I would do if they tried to go in my boot!

They then use various intimidation and ‘wont take no for answer’ tactics until they purchase the item. They will push other people out of the way and even try to take stuff out of another potential buyers hands. I am often walking around the car boot sale listening to one trader bragging to another but how he just got his latest acquisition at a steal and I can see the box of an old console I recognise sticking out of their oversized bags. They are ruining the car boot sales. Arguments amongst each other and sellers occur every week and security often have to move overzealous buyers and traders away from someone’s car when they see a crowd gathering. Thefts from people’s stalls are also common.

I don’t have the cheek to approach a car before it even stops and certainly wouldn’t fight me way into someone’s boot just to get something I wanted but I still get my hands on a bargain every now and then. Sometimes it’s just luck and I see a console appear in someone’s stall just as I’m passing. Some car booters will deliberately not sell to the traders now as they know they will never get a fair price. Again this is where I can benefit. I buy to collect for myself, not make a profit, although I still like to know I got a good price for whatever it is I’m buying.

Last Sunday, I came across one of the large vans that are selling items from house clearances. Sometimes these guys have interesting items. There are two problems with these types of sellers.:

  1. They don’t know anything about the item, whether its working or how to use it.
  2. They treat the items badly often damaging them.

On Sunday, I saw two items of interest on this sellers stall. One was a retro 1980’s Atomic Pinball game. The other was an Atari 520ST computer in a box. I didn’t even bother asking the seller whether they were working but he told me he wanted £30 for the two. They are worth more than this if they are working. Normally I would walk away without some confidence in the seller but I decided to take a gamble and ended up paying £25 for the two (technically, Debbie bought them for me).

When I got them home, I noticed the Atari’s box was a little damp and when I opened the box the bottom of the computer was slightly wet. I hoped it had just been stored poorly and left it to dry out for a couple of hours.

Whist I waited I popped some D cells into the Atomic Pinball and it worked fine.

After tuning my old TV into the Atari, I was surprised to see it fire into life and display its GUI desktop. It had some disks with it but these were just blank ones. Will need to order some software from Ebay me thinks.

The good news, they work. The bad news is that I have to find somewhere for them to live.

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The Atari 520ST in action: