Monday, 20 March 2017

Coffee, BMW driver's and Age!!!

Hello interweb, due to the wonders of modern technology I am coming to you live today from the Costa Coffee shop on Ecclesall Road in Sheffield, I am enjoying a very nice flat white coffee and the place is surprisingly quiet for this time.
Shot at Iso 1600 / f8.0 / 1/80th sec / 24mm 

The chap sat next to me does not know that I know who he is, he used to work for the people who look after my web servers but was fired cause he was crap at his job. He is now sat talking bullshit to some other business Chappy. lol.
As I was driving here a BMW driver cut me up, no surprise there but it got me to thinking about the whole type of driver that we experience on the road on a day to day basis.
In the UK I have come to discover by far the worst drivers are in the following order, drivers of used BMW's followed very close in 2nd place by used Audi drivers.
Seriously these people drive and park like total and utter wankers, I will add at this point that not 100% of them but a far higher percentage than drivers of any other vehicles.
I have no idea why this might be.

Sitting here looking around there is an amazing amount of people who are sat, some alone and others with company simply glued to their mobile phones. This is not something that I have only just realised. I have seen it on holiday as well and just about everywhere I go. People walk out in front of my car as I drive because they are so engrossed in whatever it is they are doing on their phone at the time. It would appear that the art of conversation is indeed a dying art.

In other news I am getting a bit bored of the pain now from my recent operation. On previous Op's Id be back at em by now and in full flow but I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that this is it now.
It is going to take some adjusting if it is as I have significant pain in my right foot and thigh but the good news is still no cramp in leg so I can still sleep for more than an hour at a time.

I am trying to force myself out to get some more photography done and have even entered a few competitions in the last few days.
Looking through some of my archives for a selective colouring image I stumbled across one of my favourite images. Not many people have showed much of an interest in to be honest but I really like it and these days that is more about what my photography is about. Back to taking images that please me rather than a client. The joys of semi retirement.

The method I used when I took this image was far more involved than what is required today as I have discovered,  but it just goes to show that even an old dog can learn new tricks. :)

And as I must pack up my belongings and return home after my little trip out I will share with you the thoughts of Benjamin Franklin, By my rambling digressions I perceive myself to be growing old" lol

Peace out Y'all, THE BAGSTAXXX

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Pains, Trains and Chicken Stroganoff!!!

Well hello interweb at this bright and early time, 06.04 hrs. Ive been awake since 04.00 hrs but try as I might I cannot get back to sleep.
So I have decided to share some of my recent happenings with you.
The main reason I can't get to sleep is the pain in my right leg and foot. Despite the morphine and various other drugs it is still very painful.
Previous operations have had me up and about with very little pain within about 2 to 3 weeks but this time I am at 5 weeks and still suffering.
I keep trying to do normal things only to pay for it several hours later.
Last night I went down to my local railway station to take a few pics of the empty platforms due to the rail strike. Got a few nice shots and uploaded them there and then with the new MacBook Pro. Worked a treat.
The low light capabilities of the 5D still take me aback.
Called in at Tesco for wine and then picked up a Kebab on my way home.
Watched the Walking Dead with Viper then headed to bed.
Now I am feeling the pain. Felt a lot better when I got back but now I am suffering.
Sunday, Went for a 15 minute outing to the Botanical Gardens and got a few photographs there as well which turned out nice with the spring flowers and the first colours coming through.
Sunday also saw me back in the kitchen cooking proper food for the first time since the operation. I made Chicken Stroganoff which I must confess was pretty damn nice. Minutes to prepare and thrown into a slow cooker for 4-6 hours it wasn't much strain on me either.
3-4 chicken breasts diced and placed in the bottom of a lightly greased slow cooker,
1 pot of soft cheese (philadephia), I always use full fat as I find full fat foods have much more flavour.
1 can of condensed chicken soup, (and the same of water), a good couple of hands full of button mushrooms chopped, 1 Medium sized onion finely chopped and softened for 5 minutes in a pan with a little olive oil. flaked sea salt and ground black pepper corns to taste.
Mix the lot together in a bowl and pour over the chicken.
Leave for around 4 hours on high or 5-6 on low and remove the lid for the last half hour to help the sauce to thicken a little.
Stir occasionally whilst cooking.
You can serve this stuff up on rice, or with pasta or pretty much anything really.  If you're feeling really healthy a bit of broccoli and other veg would work well but once served ( I did mine over Penne pasta) sprinkle a bit of freshly chopped parsley over the food and enjoy.
I have managed a few more games recently in Mission Control and it was a pleasure to be invited for a few games with Mr Relentless UK from the Netduma R1 forums for a few rounds of Call of Duty.
We played Modern Warfare Remastered first and I was surprised at how well I did after over a month off, Still got most captures on Domination but that was probably due to Mr R covering my ass and shooting people from rooftops when I had forgotten to check, lol
Then we tried Infinite Warfare, Mr R kicked some proper ass on Team Death Match with around 49 kills and not to many deaths at all.
I as always on that game got spanked. It just does not play for me. Hit marker after hit marker.
Oh well, good job there are other games to play.
In other game related news GT Sport has been announced to be released on November the 13th In the USA and a few other places but here in Blighty we will have to wait till the 18th of November. That said the company that makes GT games are notorious for putting back the release of the games so we will have to wait and see.
Right then interweb, the bloody birds are sounding more like a football crown than a dawn chorus so I may as well get up and make coffee but I will in light of recent events leave you with this thought,
Joseph Campbell once wrote, "Find a place inside where there is joy, and the joy will burn out the pain".
Joseph obviously never had 4 micro discectomy operations in the same place.

Peace out y'all, THE BAGSTAXXX

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Operations, Cameras and the cost of living!!!

Hello interweb my old friend, it has been a while.
I initially began blogging with you to help me stop smoking back in 2011 and it worked very well and I have now been smoke free since February of that year.
I am currently laid up in bed after a fourth operation on my spine and so to help beat back the cabin fever I have taken to your zero's and one's once again.
The previous three times I have been back up and about by this time but to date it has been 3 weeks and 4 days which in no way sounds like it could be made into a Sinead O'Conner song.
I am only allowed to sit upright for 15 minutes an hour and to be honest that feels about right.
On the upside they didn't use staples to fasten me up this time so Viper cannot take great pleasure in removing them for me with tools that look like they came straight form the Spanish Inquisition.

It does however look a bit like tyre tracks and lady parts. Anyway enough about my misery.
A short while before my operation I picked up a Canon EOS 5D MK3 camera and managed to put it through its paces a little before getting bed bound.

I have to say that I am very very impressed with this bit of kit.
It has a full frame sensor and the way it handles high ISO images can only be described as stunning.
The lack of grain and noise is images at stupidly high iso levels is simply amazing.
This shot was taken at 20,000 iso. yes 20,000
I also managed to get put and about on a couple of occasions and despite the crappy weather managed to get a few nice shots out in the Peak District.
I went for a steady walk down Wyming Brook which is one of my favourite places to visit but the levels of mud were on another level to what is usually there, thank heavens for walking boots that can be hosed down.

A few days later we had a light dusting of snow which didn't cause me and Thumper (or should that be Thumper and I?) much of a problem and also meant that I could get out to Stanage Edge which affords great views over the Hope Valley towards Mam Tor which always looks gorgeous in the snow.
I am proper itching to get back out there taking photographs because, well it's what I do. I love it and find it very therapeutic.
In other news I have not been able to spend much time in Mission Control and as such have been proper missing playing games on my Playstation.
Infinite Warfare had been playing so badly for me on my PS4 Pro that I gave up on the title after a couple of weeks. I try for a couple of games every now and then but I actually re purchased Black Ops 3 because despite it's issues It plays a world apart from IW.
Infinite warfare seems to be very much a game that you either love or hate judging by the feedback I have read from others and it would appear more people hate it than like it and there has even been rumour of a 5th Map Pack for Black Ops 3.
I am just glad I wasn't sucked into the hype this year to purchase the season pass or I would have been pissed.
Bollocks, just realised I've finished my cup of tea.

So Viper is itching to go on holiday but we are undecided to which direction to go, left or right.
By the time I am fit to go which will be around the end of May heading right towards thew Maldives will put us in one of the monsoon seasons but we have been before at this time and man did it rain but there were enough hours of sunshine to make it OK, plus I managed to get some great photographs to.
The other option is left towards the Caribbean and Viper is getting very excited about the possibility of two weeks on Young Island which I must admit does look quite lovely with a distinct lack of people which is good for me.
I have also decided in the last week to move over to the dark side and have purchased an Apple MacBook Pro.
There are several reasons for this. The weight is substantially less than my 17" laptop that I have been lugging around for years and as such will make it easier on my back.
It is also fast, very fast. Fast enough for me to make proper use of my Elgato Capture device and will even work with the stream command with webcam overlays to my youtube channel at 1080p 60 fps, so you will all soon be able to look at my ugly mug whilst listening to my dulcet tones swearing and using vast amounts of profanity late into the night as I get my ass kicked on Black Ops. lol.
Another reason for the purchase is so that I can carry it about with me to upload photos from the field which will be great for uploading pics to news feeds etc and will be great when I am travelling to upload pics to my blog etc.

Well interweb it has been nice catching up and hopefully over the coming days I will visit you again with a few updates and thoughts from the depths of what is left of my mind.
However for now, be safe in the knowledge that despite the cost of living, it is still quite popular.