Last night I walked home from work in Treorchy Library whilst it was still daylight when I got home. A definite sign that things are on the up. It is hard to believe that on Tuesday morning there was heavy snow and it seemed as if Winter would never go away. Yes, I know it is still Winter, and will be for the next five weeks, but at least I can start looking forward to better things.
Today I went out and had a look at my garden for the first time. There is still not an awful lot that I can do out there. However, I raked the lawn, removing the old leaves and assorted debris which has accumulated there. The lawn is shrugging off the strictures of its first Winter and looks ready to grow even more vigorously this year. Of course it is more of a yellow green than I would like, but it is still winter. If it remains dry, I might give it its first dose of fertilizer of the year.
I also swept the path, upper and lower patio. Despite the lousy weather, the moss has once more established itself on the patio slabs and the patio furniture is looking the worse for wear. It looks as if I am going to have to get a pressure washer and clean them. I would really like to get some new furniture this Summer. Also I must get an arch for the climbing rose at the bottom of my path. It has established itself on the trellis that is currently supporting it, but needs more.
Its so nice to be able to go outside and not return indoors frozen.
Once again the largest and the best broadcaster in the World is in a bit of a pickle. It needs support when supposedly an intelectual magazines like The Economis, that should know better, publish unimaginably stupid garbage in their Leader Section. They say that the BBC should concentrate on News and Educational programmes and leave popular entertainment to the commercial sector. Honestly, this is Right Wing poppicock of the heighest order. Without the technical support making all the popularist programmes provide, the News and Education departments would whither on the vine.
So, take it away Mitch:
Now that I have finally got my cobbled-together-from-two-wrecks-and-a-f
The original silver windows on the top of the drone have been covered with silver vinyl. Initially I was just going to stick transparent vinyl over the original pattern, but I think the silver vinyl looks so much better.
- I found a few little extras lying around that I decide to add to make it look more unique. The purple glass crystal I found in my mother’s house looks good on the back of the lower section. It matches the colour of the vinyl on the outdoor hull so well. I don’t remember where I found the silvered dome shaped button that I stuck to the back of the Out door hull, but it certainly looks as if it belongs there now.
- I printed the phoenix on a blue glass sphere onto a peice of grease proof paper which I then cut out and stuck to a circle of silver vinyl and finally covered the whole thing with transperent vinyl. I think this makes a nice decoration, especially as I have named this craft Y Ffenecs, The Phoenix, thanks to its scrap-yard origin.
- I tried putting the vinyl on the prorpellors, but that both looked silly and made it impossible for the Drone to fly. So I bought some metalic gold spraypaint and used it to gild the propellors and the propellor mounting. It looks quite efective on the mountings, and when the Drone is flying, it the propellors look like opaque gold discs.
The polystyrene discs surrounding the motor mountings are designed to protect the gears that the motors turn to drive the propellors, they were originally black. They have had the gold spraypaint treatment, as have the plastic landing caps that sit on the feet of the Drone to help absorb shock from heavy landings. it seemed the sensible thing to do, as everything else on the done was either gold or purple now.
- I sprayed the tops of the screws that hold the base in place gold so that they match the vinyl covered baseplate. You can see on the picture the white LED strobe lights that I have added to the base of the drone. Real aircraft have flashing strobes on their base, and now so does my drone. The advantage is they make the Drone easier to spot in poor visibility.
This brings me round to the subject of battery life. The official Parrot 11V 1000mAh Lithium Polymer batteries that Parrot supply take two hours to charge to give me about seven minutes of flying time. I have seen bigger batteries on sale, but use of these voids the Warranty that Parrot issue. Not that I need to worry about that, as I doubt that my phoenix like AR Drone is covered by a warrany. I don’t know if it is worth getting bigger batteries. The strobes cut about a minute of the flying time when they are switched on, so that is not too great a drain on resources. The main problem I can see with more powerful batteries is the additional weigh that they bring. In any aircraft, weight is a critical factor.
Now all I need is more practice at flying the blessed thing.
Obama — Democrat : 251
Romney — Republcian : 203
Nevada swung to the Democrats in 2008 and exit polls are indicating it has stayed for the President. An hour after the polls closed in that state, it is still too close to call.
On the other hand, the Republic of California has come in for President Obama. This State’s massive 55 votes in the Electoral College go to the Democrats and President Obama.
Jeb Bush the brother of Republcian President George W. Bush is saying that Florida has gone to the Democrats, but as the winning margin is less than 0.5% there will be a recount. How do you recount electronic votes, it is not like a pile of ballot papers can be found in the aether.
Oregon has gone for the Democrats again, and it is looking extremely unlikely that the President has lost this election and he will have the magic 270+ votes in the Electoral College.
Obama — Democrat : 275
Romney — Republcian : 203
The State of Ohio has jst been called for President Barrack Hussein Obama. This pushes him over the winning line. This election has never actually been about electing the President of the United States, it has been about electing the committee, the so called Electoral College that elects the President. That committee now has a majority for re-electing the incumbent President.
So President Barrack Hussein Obama will remain in the Oval Office of the White House for four more years.
Obama — Democrat : 157
Romney — Republcian : 164
Things are starting to look better for President Obama. He is appartently catching up. He is still behind, but not as far behind as he was an hour ago. The President is looking strong in Ohio, half the precincts in the State have reported for Obama. No Republican has won the presidency if they have not won Ohio.
Not surprisingly Governor Romney has won Utah. He is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints and the State of Utah is where the LDS has its headquarters.
Obama — Democrat : 172
Romney — Republcian : 164
Wisconsin, the home state of the GOP Vice Presidential Candidate Ryan Paul, has been held by President Obama and the Democrats. As has the Senate for Wisconsin has also gone to the DemoctatsThe road to the White House is getting more rocky as the hours progress. .
It has been a good night for the Democrats in the Senate, they have won three seats from the Republicans. Not so good in the House, the Democrats are down two seats on the 2010 level.
Obama — Democrat : 123
Romney — Republcian : 153
It is 3am in the UK, 9pm EST and the polls in 15 States have closed. Michagan, the home state of both Obama and Romney has gon to Obama. However, things are not looking good for the President at the moment. The Electoral College is currently going towards Governor Romney, which is different from last time, as by 2pm BST 9pm EST Obama had a huge lead in the Electoral Colege.
They are still voting in Florida. Certain key states have stopped people joining the line at poling stations in these counties and these votes could make all the difference. Governer Romney really needs to win Florida to win the election.
Obama — Democrat : 143
Romney — Republican : 153
The first big Swing State has come in and it has given its 20 Electoral College votes to President Obama.
It looks as if the House of Representatives have gone to the Republicans. Sadly because the liberarian idiots in the TEA Part have moved the House Republican Party so far to the right. if Obama wins he is going to be poll-axed in Congress, despite there being a Democrat Senate.
The first big Swing State
Obama — Democrat : 78
Romney — Republcian : 76
So far all the expected results in the East of the US have been called, New Jersey has gone to the Democrats and the Republicans have won Tennessee. So far the Popular Vote is going for Governer Romney, but the Electoral College is going for President Obama.
Of course this is the General Election in the US as well as the Presiential Election, the whole of the House of Representives is up for election as is the Senate. Of the 72 Sentate races called, the Republicans have won 36 seats, the Democrats have won 34 seats and the Independants have won 2. The House of Representatives have won 38 seats in the House and 14 seats have gone to the Democrats. Now it looks as if the House is going to remain with the Republicands.
In a few minutes time the Mid West States start to close and places like Colorado will be called. This should make things interesting.
Obama — Democrat: 3
Romney — Republican: 33
It does not seem like four years since I was here blogging on my opinions about the 2008 Presidential Election. However, here I am again, four years later, here I am again. It is coming up to 1am GMT and 8pm EST. So far President Obama has won just one State and Governer Romney has won five States. At this stage last time, the GOP candidate had a huge lead in the Electoral College. Obaba eventually won the Popular Vote and the Electoral College.
And now at 8pm EST
Obama — Democrat: 56
Romney — Republican: 40
of the 17 States that have just closed have seen the Networks give a number to Obama. This is also as it was four years ago.
I was awakened this morning by the sound of banging outside my house. In a moment reminicent of the opening chapter of The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy the name Gary and the word Pillar kept crossing my mind, looking for something to connect with. When they did, I was up and out of bed, dressed and downstairs putting the kettle on within a minute. Sure enough, when I opened my front door, there was my brother-in-law, who had taken down the pillar that supported the end of my front wall and the gate, and was mixing cement to rebuild it.
If my house had been in continuous occupation, then the pillar would have been regularly repointed and would have remained sound. Over the years the house was empty, frost had gotten into tiny cracks in the cement, making them bigger; plants had then taken root in those cracks and further weakened the cement, allowing the frost to penetrate even further. It had reached the stage where simple repointing would not do any good, so I had to let nature take its course and wait until it was at a point where the pillar would fall down before anything could be done to it.
Gary is a Stone Mason, so when he set about mixing the cement, he mixed to lots. One was relatively dry for the stone column at the centre of the pillar and one was wetter, for the bricks that square it off. Well, sort of square it off. The bricks are old and unlike modern bricks are not completely identical. Gary could either get each course plumb or level, not both. The thing is, that is the way the original brick layer who build the pillar back in the early 1920’s did it. It is what gives the front of my house its character. If I had wanted a perfectly square and plumb pillar, I would have bought new bricks, and the pillar would look awful, sticking out like a sore thumb.
Every two courses of bricks there is a stone rosette in the middle. This gives additional support to the brickwork. If you imagine each face of the pillar being numbered one to four, at the base is on the even numbered sides is the first rosette. The odd numbered side is just bricks, but the next two courses on the odd side has a stone rosette, with the even numbered side being just brick. What really surprised me was how big the hinges on gate are. All I see is the part that the gate swings on, but I should have realised there would be more to it than that. Something to support the weight of the gate as it swung open and shut. The prongs go all the way through the bricks into the stone column at the base of one of these stone rosettes, and it is the weight of the stone and the bricks above that anchor the gate.
Eventually, I hope to get a nice pyramidal coping stone to go on the top of tls pillar, and its neighbour. For some reason, the originel coping was removed and a pair of square paving slabs were put in their place. I can put that down to horrible 1970’s fashion. With this rebuilding, the pillar will once again be strong enough to take one.
It is now Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, nights are drawing in and everything feels that little bit colder. Last nights episode of Doctor Who started after the sun had set when it was properly dark outside. Which was good, as The Angel’s Take Manhattan was properly scary. However, part of me is a little sad that it was the final episode of the five episode Series 33a and not the first. Although I do not believe the great fan myth that the Autumn/Winter is the series’ natural home, I do regret the fact that the BBC has missed a great opertunity to give ITV and the increasingly tawdry X-Factor a well deserved kicking. The winning formula of Doctor Who and a Bruce Forsythe hosted light entertainment show from the 1970’s could so easily have been replicated. A few weeks ago when the Lauch Show for the 2012 series of Strictly Come Dancing preceding A Town Called Mercy, that week’s episode of Doctor Who was pure magic for me, ticking all the nostalgia boxes. Giving the Time Lord an excellent overnight rating of 6.3 million.
However, the return of Strictly brings a smile to my face. I love this show, it is fun from start to finish. The only downside is my favourite professional dancer, Aliona Villani as fractured her femur, and consequently has been replace as Johnny Ball’s partner. Having said that, I cannot imagine him staying in the competition very long anyway. He is what I class as a Good Sport, someone who signs up for the competition for the fun of it all, knowing that somebody has to be there to be elimated in the early stages, so that the actual contenders have a chance to get to the required standand of the Grand Final.
This year, a pair of medal winners from this year’s Olympic Games have been persuaded to take part. Sportsmen and sportswomen always do well in the competition because they are used to the training régime of a top class athlete. However, I don’t think that either Louis Smith or Victoria Pembleton will be in the running. Simply because it is too soon after the London 2012 Olympics, a competition that they devoted their lives to for four years. Of course, I could be wrong.
So the first two shows are on Friday and Saturday. First dances with no elimination this week, I can’t wait.