Go Pro

Max the Go Pro Mule

Max the Go Pro Mule

JC bought a Go Pro Hero 3 + black edition in August 2014 and has been playing with it and buying bits for it ever since. He is officially in love with this little bit of tech heaven and now our friend’s daughter has one (from Santa) so they can be geeks together.

a few adjustments required

a few adjustments required

Geek aside, it is rather sweet to watch them getting over excited about a tiny box of tricks. There are a good few decades separating them.

nothing unusual about having a big black box on your back

nothing unusual about having a big black box on your back

Anyway, in the interest of Go Pro advancement in our household, our terrier Max has been persecuted with a cumbersome harness and a little camera recording his every move on some of our weekend walks.

camera position adjusted to front

camera position adjusted to front

To be fair, Max is completely ok with all of this and just takes it in his stride.

I think the harness is designed for a larger dog and some adaptions will be needed to the straps but they get by and Max seems unaffected by it. On occasion, he does try to bury into a straw stack or some undergrowth and can’t quite seems to understand why his progress is limited.

returning with a little more than just the camera

returning with a little more than just the camera

JC doesn’t have much footage that he has chosen to keep yet but he is persevering and we have some half decent stills so far.

Cool as a cucumber and couldn't care less

Cool as a cucumber and couldn’t care less

Watch this space, our little Go Pro mule might offer some interesting images to show you yet!

Advertisements

olloclip

dandelion clock

dandelion clock

I use an iPhone (5) and I love it.

I use it every day for emails, calls, texts, vibe, whatsapp, FB, instagram, twitter, maps, waze, evernote, pinterest, contacts, calendar….. you name it.

I didn’t think that the camera on the phone could be improved as it such good quality already. the iPhone 6 has probably managed to improve the camera further but until I have an iPhone 6, I will have to wait to see.

But I read somewhere ages and ages ago that there was a little attachable lens was available from a company called Olloclip to use with the phone as an attachment, providing more flexibility and giving you a tool that would truly explore the potential of the smashing lens in this little phone.

As an early christmas present to myself, I ordered the 4-in-1 combo. This provides you with a fish eye, wide angle and 2 strengths of macro lens.

I have a canon 6D that I use all the time and have a variety of different lenses for it. It provides such good quality shots that I use it for serious photography and pictures of my work but I have never really considered the iPhone to be a contender for serious shots.  As good as it is, how could it possibly be used as a serious working camera?

The review were good but my true expectations for what the addition of the olloclip could do to the camera on the iPhone were limited, but the results have been amazing.

It is tiny attachment and a bit fiddly and would be very easy to lose but if you have the time and the patience along with helpful additions to your camera bag such as a gorilla pod and a clip for your phone, you can set it up to get great photos.

It is great fun and the results are very effective.

Olloclip has an instagram account where people share their images using the olloclip and some are truly incredible.

I need some time to get more interesting shots and I have not taken advantage of the wide angle fitting yet but I’m delighted with the macro results

See for yourself……… all taken with the phone hand held without the support or steadiness of a tripod, gorilla pod or surface

Fish Eye

hand held at eye level

at eye level

seated

seated

10x Macro

flower head - hand held

flower head

daisy - hand held

daisy

rotting knot in fallen tree - hand held

rotting knot in fallen tree

15x Macro

drooping flower head

drooping flower head

detail from flower

detail from flower

offset shot of flower - my favourite

offset shot of flower – my favourite

dandelion clock

dandelion clock

dandelion clock

dandelion clock

dandelion clock

dandelion clock

 

 


coffee adventures

it's frothy man

it’s frothy man

After such excitement over our gorgeous new coffee machine, we have had some disappointments.

Our lovely machine blew something inside and was no longer safe to use with water and steam spewing out everywhere.

John Lewis were brilliant about it and because they had no De Longhi stock to replace it and it was dangerous, they refunded us in full and the pretty machine was condemned to the bin, unfortunately.

pixie!

pixie!

We were back to our traditional italian stove top coffee maker for a while and still loving our coffee.

But we missed the frothy milk and the espressos that JC likes. Coffee and hot milk done the old fashioned way just wasn’t hacking it.

traditional stove top coffee maker

traditional stove top coffee maker

After all it is still a bit of a faff using the stove top and a milk pan and even a wonderful morning coffee we can get from our wonderfully seasoned old campaigner hasn’t hacked it really.

We are busy and things need to be as easy as possible really

So!!!!

Having taken full advantage of our lovely friends thorough research, we are now the proud owners of a Nespresso Pixie with aerochino!

And it is wonderful

And it is easy

And there is no mess

And it is cheaper than buying beans and ground.

 

And we have found a fantastic clever devise for storing our pods that can be fixed to the underside of the kitchen wall cupboard. Right on hand but not seen. Marvellous.

pod holder

pod holder

Or mounted on the wall like a piece of art.

wall mounted pod holder

wall mounted pod holder

Finding the flavours that are right for us but it is fun trying and we have had some very helpful tips.

shiney and brilliant

shiney and brilliant

I feel coffee love again!!!


coffee madam?

coffee in my 'work' mug

coffee in my favourite ‘work’ mug

I love coffee.

I don’t drink a lot of it. Maybe only a cup or two a day but when I do, I really enjoy it.

For years I used to have a percolator, then I moved onto a cafetiere and after a particularly lovely stay with friends in Rome, I used a traditional stove top coffee pot for a while.

my barista recommended keep cup for travelling with coffee

my barista recommended keep cup for travelling with coffee

BUT

None of them was completely satisfactory for drinking coffee at home.

Percolators seem to burn the coffee very quickly, cafetieres stew it and render it heart attack strength coffee if you don’t drain them quickly and I never manage to watch the stove top pot carefully enough to stop it boiling!!

We have friends, Kate and John, who rave about Nespresso and after one particular sampling the delights from their machine, JC decided that we should get one for the kitchen.

Since our kitchen is pretty small and we don’t have any workspace to speak of, he thought we should build an extension to increase the size of our kitchen.

Seems a bit extreme for the simple pleasure of a cup of coffee but there you go!!

When I get something into my mind, it generally stays there until it is resolved in some way and I didn’t fancy waiting for the age it would take to get around to building an extension before I could enjoy a good coffee at home

a coffee machine

a coffee machine

Anyway, having been completely convinced that Nespresso was the way to go, we stayed with friends in the Peak District in the summer and the cottage had a coffee machine that seemed to make lovely coffee every time.  After a weekend of faffing about and drinking lots of cups of frothy coffee (when we weren’t necking sauvignon blanc by the gallon), I was pretty convinced that the faffing was worth it.

There is absolutely no denying that Kate is right and the Nespresso pod system is incredibly easy with no mess and no faffing whatsoever but I found  I didn’t actually mind the faffing. It’s not like I want to drink coffee throughout the day and then not sleep at night. I just want an odd cup that is really, really nice.

The ritual of grinding the beans, filling up the filter, attaching it to the machine, frothing my milk and waiting for the pruck, pruck, pruck noise as 2 little nozzles deliver the dark creamy coffee into my little cup is rather rewarding.

in place and ready to use

in place and ready to use

I have cleared the decks, found a corner in a cup’d for the toaster and the magimix and placed my order with John Lewis for a next day delivery of a lovely shiny new De Longhi espresso machine

ikea dinera coffee cups that match the sofa!

ikea dinera coffee cups that match the sofa!

We are experimenting with coffee blends, we are experimenting with frothing and we have bought new coffee cups too. It has been sooooo much fun.

We still don’t get it right a lot of the time just yet (JC is better at it than I am!!) and my barista art skills leave a lot to be desired but it’s fabulous.

can ya till wot it iz yit?

can ya till wot it iz yit?

We will still build the extension of course but there’s no pressure to get on with it to house a coffee machine now!


the trouble with technology

iphone 3g

I don’t have a lot of patience with technology.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not because I don’t like it, I just don’t know how to deal with it when it goes wrong. I don’t have those strange abilities that some people (I think we kindly refer to them as geeks) have. My lovely husband has a bit of a knack with tech although it doesn’t extend to really serious geekdome.

My patience with tech has been well and truly challenged over recent months and days as I’ve had quite a few trouble with my iPhone; It went pop one friday afternoon which meant a trip to the Genius Bar in Covent Garden only for it to suddenly start working again and appear to be perfectly fine even when a load of Genius diagnostics confirmed it was jiggered.

iphone 3g

It went pop again a few weeks later and was eventually condemned to death after more Genius diagnostics (another Bar visit).  Once I got over the trauma of the loss, I was a little excited to realise that the phoenix rising out of my loss (& parting with a lot of cash) would be a brand new iPhone,

green casing

My Sis and JC both say this never happens to anyone else; but when transferring my back up iPhone contents onto my new iPhone, I lost loads of information!! Notes completely disappeared, half of my contacts went, my diary entries were all over the place and some stuff was duplicated a gazzillion times. What is that all about?

Anyway, I tidied that up and the new iPhone is great but it has started it’s life in my possession with a few stressful experiences that are likely to dramatically affect it’s long term life expectancy (and it isn’t 3 months old yet!).

It has been dropped down the loo twice (note to self, stop putting it in back pocket of jeans especially jeans with tiny weeny back pockets)!  The first time it popped out of my back pocket as I was preparing to drop my drawers and spun tantalisingly on the edge of toilet seat before disappearing into the porcelain pool.  My jack flash reactions saved the day and it seemed not remotely affected by the incident.

Bath time, however, happened again on Friday!! (you have to bear in mind that this particular friday I had already been completely traumatised by having to bath my diahhorea coated dog because he thought it was a good idea to roll in a specimen he discovered in the bushes. Don’t ask?) So when it happened this time, my stressed pea brain had no jack flash reactions and I in fact just stood there going ‘oh no, oh no!’ before I realised that a rescue mission was required & I dipped my hand into the cold clear water to retrieve it.

Imagine my relief when it didn’t need resuscitating and seemed to be working fine!

I think I was lulled into a false sense of relief, and it suddenly started suffering from shock, it became unresponsive, erratic and then just did random things on it’s own! Some wise advise handed to me by my great friend Kate when I did this the last time, came to mind so my iPhone has been recouperating in lock-and-lock filled to the rim with rice. It enjoyed the warmth of the sun over the weekend and had a couple of cautious outings which seemed to prove the theory and it was working fine!!

basmati, lock & lock and an iphone

I woke to an iPhone flat lining in tupperware on Monday morning; absolutely no response to anything.

I so set off for (another) early afternoon visit to the Genius bar (!!) where it was dissected, prodded and inspected then condemned as irretrievably water damaged. I can’t manage without it!! I would need to replace it!!  Nooooo!!! Then it dawned on me that I am due a free upgrade with my O2 contract and I decided to take my deceased iPhone home for a decent burial. I bought a cheap granny phone to get by with and waited for my freeby.

night night iPhone

I’m really not making this up…….. but as soon as I got home the phone leapt back into life albeit the vital signs were a bit weak.

With nothing to lose, I dissected the phone myself and tucked it up in a Lock and Lock boudoir full of rice. Every morning I have taken it out and given it a bit of gentle exercise, then every night it has gone back to it’s Basmati bed……

I’ve worked on apple mac’s since the 80s (oh how I wish I had kept my apple classic!) and wouldn’t thank you for a pc (I hadn’t even touched on until last year!); I remember a claim by them from a long time ago that if you dunked one of their keyboards in water (just water) and let it dry out, it would be none the worse for wear.  I think their claim might be well founded.  My iPhone seems none the worse for it’s dampening experience.

Water + iPhone / Lock & Lock + Rice = working iPhone + spare