Author Archives: Les Bessant

Weight and Stuff Report – 1 September 2014

Weight: 214.5 pounds (15 stone 4.5 pounds, 97.3 kg)
Steps taken: 4,102

Back down again after yesterday’s odd rise. All quite random, or something.

More Zap Cat action for you today. Here’s a closer look at one of the boats:

Marines

Marines

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/10
Shutter speed: 1/240s
Focal length: 55.6mm
ISO: 400
Taken: 30 August, 2014

And here’s the line of boats starting the race:

The starting line

The starting line

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/9
Shutter speed: 1/600s
Focal length: 52.4mm
ISO: 400
Taken: 30 August, 2014

August 2014 Round-up

Well, that’s August out of the way, so it’s time for the usual exciting[1] monthly report.

Weight

More random fluctuation this month…

August 4: 212.5 pounds (15 stone 2.5 pounds, 96.4 kg)
August 31: 216.2 pounds (15 stone 6.2 pounds, 98.1 kg)

That’s an annoyingly large rise of 3.7 pounds (1.7kg), the start weight was unusually low, and today’s might just be a blip.[2]

Eating

I’ve been mostly well-behaved this month. Lunch has mostly been a single sarnie from the shop over the road from the office.

Exercise

I’ve managed a few weekend walks, but not much else.

Posting

This exciting report brings the monthly total to 45, which is moderately sane…

Stuff

Not a lot of stuff this month.

[1] For an arbitrary “un” value of “exciting”, of course
[2] Other excuses are exclusively available to subscribers

Weight and Stuff Report – 31 August 2014

Weight: 216.2 pounds (15 stone 6.2 pounds, 98.1 kg)
Steps taken: Not a lot

Oh dear, unaccountably up by a lot today. Or maybe the scale is just being playful again.

I did have a semi-plan for going somewhere today, but a check of train times showed a crucial three-hour gap between the train I wasn’t going to get to the station in time to catch and the next one, which pretty much ruled that out. Never mind, I’ll get there eventually….

Having decided not to do what I was planning, I decided not to do much at all, and stayed in. So here I am.

Here’s another view of Ovingham Bridge. This one was taken through a hole in the gate that closes off the bridge, and using the X-T1′s articulated screen to get a good angle without articulating myself into an awkward position:

Ovingham Bridge

Ovingham Bridge

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/9
Shutter speed: 1/90s
Focal length: 34.5mm
ISO: 200
Location: 54° 58.0562′ 0″ N 1° 52.0743′ 0″ W
Taken: 24 August, 2014

This one does give a better impression of how narrow and fragile it is. And people used to drive over this until recently…

Weight and Stuff Report – 30 August 2014

Weight: 214 pounds (15 stone 4 pounds, 97.1 kg)
Steps taken: 6,901

No change today, which makes a change…

After the usual breakfast and shopping, I decided to make the most of the weekend and get out somewhere. I’d more or less decided on Durham, but while I was on the bus heading for the station, I remembered that there was something happening more locally that I wanted to see, so I headed down to the Quayside and saw some of this:

Splash!

Splash!

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/8
Shutter speed: 1/1200s
Focal length: 110mm
ISO: 400
Taken: 30 August, 2014

Yes, the Tyne is playing host to the Zapcat Grand Prix this weekend. The powerboats are all of a standard design, so it’s all about the skill of the crew rather than a battle of technology. There was a moderate crowd gathered along the Newcastle Quayside, but not a huge one, which meant I had no trouble getting in to take some photographs.  :bouncy:

The boats move very quickly, and not only do that almost flying over the water thing, but can rise up almost vertically:

Up!!

Up!!

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/10
Shutter speed: 1/640s
Focal length: 116.1mm
ISO: 400
Taken: 30 August, 2014

After a while, I moved on to the Millennium Bridge for some more shots. This was a bit tricky, as there was a lot of reflected glare, but I think I’ve captured some of the drama here:

Round the bend

Round the bend

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/10
Shutter speed: 1/3200s
Focal length: 62.4mm
ISO: 400
Taken: 30 August, 2014

After that, I headed back into town and came home.

 

Death Valley Stones: Mystery Solved

I remember reading about the mysterious moving stones of Death Valley more years ago than I care to remember. They were often a feature of books and TV shows about unexplained phenomena, often presented in overly dramatic ways, but never mind…

If you’re not familiar with the story linked below gives the general idea.

Anyway, some actual Science has been done – an experiment was set up to monitor an area of the valley where the stones have been known to move. This involved Fun Stuff like fitting stones with GPS units as well as weather monitoring kit. And then they waited…

And patience paid off, and the mystery appears to be solved. Read the story:

Mystery Solved: “Sailing Stones” of Death Valley Seen in Action for the First Time | Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego.

Weight and Stuff Report – 28 August 2014

Weight: 213.6 pounds (15 stone 3.6 pounds, 96.9 kg)
Steps taken: 4,986

And today’s random thingy is a downwards one. I think I’m going to have to give the scale a good talking to…

This is Ovingham Church, to be found just across that interesting bridge form Prudhoe station. According to an information board at Prudhoe Castle, the tower is pre-Norman. It certainly looks old:

Ovingham Church

Ovingham Church

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/9
Shutter speed: 1/220s
Focal length: 24.3mm
ISO: 400
Location: 54° 58.0651′ 0″ N 1° 52.1419′ 0″ W
Taken: 24 August, 2014