Monthly Archives: August 2012

Tuesday August 21st 2012.

Rain clouds over Holcombe Hill seen from Elton Reservoir this morning but, in Radcliffe, the rain held-off for a while.
A ‘doldrummy’ morning for the people-walkers and cyclists – a little mundane, perhaps, for those of us that like ‘weather’ with a sting in its hail!
Hardware:
Pictures at present taken with a standard Fujifilm 12 megapixel camera that’s a year or so old. Taken size is 640p width, which uploads without re-sizing and is visible on most web-sites/monitors without problem – up to 700p is a general guide to easy-loading picture size.
The only problem with this camera is that the buttons, especially on/off, are very small – not good for wet/cold fingers but only a minor problem. The zoom works on this camera and is okay.
On the biggy PC the non-fanned processor cooler is okay. The only problem is the clamp (for AMD) supplied – it is too tight – the old, existing clamp, fitted and locked perfectly. Temperature is quite stable without any (fan) noise.

Monday 20th August 2012.

A rainy old morning and only a few die-hard dog-walkers are about the lanes. But the swans and cygnets are about, feeding in the weeds. It’s strange to think that these now full-grown cygnets – still strangely grey – were, a few months ago, eggs!
Over the bridge to Elton Reservoir and the mist/rain/clouds are low…
Hardware…
On the big quad PC the processor fan, working overtime, was very noisy so Ed delved the ‘net and came-up with a fanless heat-sink that needs umpteen fixings on an Intel board yet only a simple clip on an AMD board – luckily it’s AMD here. The processor temperature with the fanned heat-sink was over fifty when compiling; the fan like something on an aeroplane for noise!
With the non-fanned heat-sink the temperature is just in the low thirties and, dead quiet. So it looks like the heat-sink is working well.

Saturday August 18th 2012.

Mile after mile of Water Soldiers! Well, it looks like that.
Instead of stalking invisibly by the reeds the Heron was almost showing-off this morning.
He was in the pink as you might say…
Quiet and calm up at Elton Reservoir, with quite a few twitchers by the box on the embankment. It all seems perfectly ‘normal’ – until you look up to the skyline beyond the ever cash-strapped Bury…
…not sunlit, this morning as I looked, but it was very clear; the turbines huge against the hillsides…not to worry. That H. Balsam clogs up everything…
Software Stuff…
Downloaded and installed Linux Mint 13 a few weeks back (when it came out) and all is fine. For minimal clicks and time-saving a camera-card is initally accessed by GThumb to transfer all pics in one go to Picture File. With the ‘new’ camera a size of (width) 640 pixels is set so no re-sizing in Gimp is needed – but writing text on pics and adding a drop-shadow border to some is easy in the Gimp programme.
Linux Mint (Debian) was looked into but although possibly faster than the ubuntu version is still a bit unstable – so I’ll stick with Lisa for now.
On the big pc Ed put in the Android software and it’s brill on the big screen – also tested DSL but the installed codecs wouldn’t pick-up my router/broadband so couldn’t try it on the net – it’s only a 50meg download and, as a result, is lightning fast! DSL- N might be checked-out – that’s only about 100 meg! Yet they both feature Firefox for their ‘net browser! Awesome, space-saving (and processor-saving) stuff!
At the moment Ed’s awaiting a non-fanned processor cooler as when compiling his quad nearly melts! 🙂 Running Mint for normal basics my dual never even breaks into a sweat.
Had to shift 30gig of ‘movies’ from a Windows lappo the other day – it was running dead slow as the NT requiring 10% free-space was being filled. Windows and it’s software in the lappo was filling over 20 gig! Yet the lappo ran ‘live’ off the DSL and Mint discs like lightning.
Some features on the Opera browser are brill. The fastest though is Netsurf but it’s a bit limited in some areas. Konqueror is good but a bit much for general use. Firefox running at moment.

Friday 17th August 2012.

A rainy ride this morning along the Manchester, Bury and Bolton Canal at Radcliffe, and those bramble runners can have your eye out if you’re not careful!
Mind you, they’ve no canal left in Bolton and Bury so perhaps we could call what’s left The Radcliffe Canal.
There was a Himalayan Balsam plant by the Withins Goyt bridge too…it’s getting closer…it’s all over Bury and the canal remains at Little Lever are full of it and Giant Hogweed I’m told.
There are a few H. Balsam plants inside Elton Reservoir walls…
Bleak pictures this morning of the Radcliffe end of Elton Reservoir. – but at least I got this camera sorted at last!

Thursday 16th August 2012.

Drizzly this morning for the ride but heavy rain held off and the sun did come out a little. This season’s cygnets (six at Crow Trees) are all okay and nearly full-grown…
…it’s getting harder and harder to get them all together in a pic!
At Elton the Water Soldiers infestation is making it hard for the pair of swans by the scaffolded bridge. But a low camera battery prevented a pic.

Wednesday 15th August 2012.

A bit dull again early-on for the five mile ride around Radcliffe’s canal tow-paths, which are blooming at the moment. Himalayan Balsam is everywhere – encroaching a few farm-fields I noticed this morning.
I’ve been on the lookout for Japanese Knotweed – not seen any so far – as a mortgage-lender has refused a mortgage because J. Knotweed was ‘…in the vicinity of the property…’ Japanese Knotweed can damage foundations and is almost impossible to eradicate. It can cost £1,000 per metre of soil (land) to clear it – and even then it may return!
But, it was cool and quiet up by Elton Reservoir this morning and even just after seven the People Walkers were out for a jog. And a few cyclists sped along the tow-path nicely traffic-free.

Tuesday August 14th 2012.

Just a bit dull this morning for the daily five-miler along the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal tow-paths and a few local farm-lanes – it’s all part of National Cycle Route 6 for anyone looking for it.
Last night on TV – The Cycle Show – they did mention the websites that feature canal tow-paths that are now walking or cycling routes free of infernal combustion. They actually showed tow-paths around the London area that have been ‘done-up’ to provide cycling, walking, running, cafe, resting, boating facilities along the old canals which, in the TV article last night, were pristine.
Back to Bury, Radcliffe and Bolton.
In Bury and Bolton the canal has long-gone. Just outside Bury the canal (and Irwell banks) are a solid nursery for Himalayan Balsam.
The canal-feed area is choked with H. Balsam and leading up to it Water Soldiers have taken over for almost a mile.
Just before H. Balsam flowers (now) Giant Hogweed blooms fifteen feet high and full of skin dissolving sap…just great for walkers and cyclists! But wait! Wait! This morning some ‘renovation’ has been seen to have been done! And, in Radcliffe by jingo!
There’s a new (oh joy!) bit of wood fencing to stop you walking or riding off the tow-path over the Withins Goyt and possibly putting-in a compensation claim for any injury! (Try ‘splinters’ for something novel!)
Meanwhile a few (thousand) more Balsam and Hogweed seeds will have germinated…and Mink are seen regularly…
But lets not forget, in Radcliffe the canal was actually used as a canal until the sixties!

Monday August 13th 2012.

Bright and sunny for the ride around this morning. The camera – a spare as my usual has given-up the ghost – wasn’t charged so no pics! 🙂 But the first picture is one taken a few days ago of a weed-hedge and a megapuddle at Doffer Fold.
The next pic is of Giant Hogweed. Be carefull if you’re anywhere close to this – it’s only a plant but its sap is toxic to us mere mortals – it can cause severe burns to our skin if exposed, after contact with it, to sunlight.
Hogweed has now ‘seeded’ and the large seed heads, on top of eight foot (or more!) stalks, should die back naturally. The problem is a million seeds will be floating along rivers and streams ever-ready to root and set-up a new, soil leaching ‘colony’ of newly growing Hogweed plants. They prevent our normal wild plants from even existing.
Ditto Himalayan Balsam which is harmless (even edible) but even more invasive.
At Elton Reservoir swans, taking-off and landing on the water, were an awesome sight – and sound!
A ‘test pic’ with different camera…
This is Gunnera Manicata, nothing to do with Hogweed! It’s nearly three feet across those leaves.

Sunday 12th August 2012.

A slight problem with camera this morning means that photo’s are very limited. Because it’s mid-summer and everything is flowering you can see the problem with Himalayan Balsam. It’s everywhere in dense, six to eight feet high clumps – as in the first photograph. Someone’s trying to clear that lot but it’ll easily re-seed as it’s all over the place. While that’s there nothing else (native plants) can see the light and grow.
That infestation of invasive, introduced weedery is only yards from the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal and a few Balsam are already very close… At the canal feed/overflow at Elton the native weeds already all but fill the channel. Behind them the wishy-washy pinky-white Himalayan Balsam flowers can be seen crowding-out the normal reeds and weeds – and, eventually, the swans…