Tuesday, 25 November 2014

HO scale models of French buses.

For some time now I have had on the back burner the requisitioning of some buses to line up in front of the Gare du Nord.

The buses would have to be in the green and white livery of the Chausson.

There is an HO scale model available.

When I searched eBay etc the other night, I couldn't find any models ........ until I came across a pair of buses that were unboxed and in a bedraggled state. For 3 euros plus postage and packaging from France I decided to bid for them on eBay and got them for that price.

I'll have to paint them but for 3 euros they're a bargain.

Currently listening to:

Haven't listened to this for ages!
Last night's dinner:

Chicken curry at Glasgow's Shenaz Restaurant

Today's lunch:

Trio of Fish at Kirkintilloch's Caulder's Garden Centre
Currently reading:

Fascinating insight into the UK's many Gay communities: the author seems to have mixed with them all.

Drumming practice update:

Back to basics:

Using the drum pad I spent an hour this morning getting into the habit of lifting the left arm with the stick remaining in complete contact with the left hand until at say 45 degrees of arm lift, when it flies up and away from the hand.

Hitherto, and despite knowing better, I've allowed the stick to leave the left hand immediately the arm moves upwards.

Tried to capture the right sequence of events in these photos.

Stick firmly in contact with hand

The arm lifts but contact is maintained

Higher and still full contact

Still contact

Stick begins to leave hand

Then suddenly the stick is pointing upwards ready for its downward plummet towards the drum.

Monday, 24 November 2014

A teeny bit of wiring.

Began the process of wiring up the row of 6 streetlights that will stand in front of the Gare du Nord.

Treating the row as 3 pairs with each pair wired in series with its partner and the the three pairs then wired in parallel - see wiring diagrams below - I connected each pair with its partner in preparation for soldering the connections tomorrow (I hope).

I tackled the three little lime green connections today.

Currently listening to:

"Beat That" - an amazing all women Samba band from Stirling.
Query: in this day and age, are any organisations allowed to be single-gender in their membership???
Last night's dinner:

Sword Fish, cous cous and courgettes
Currently reading:

Drumming practice update:

Determined to keep going back to basics and get those basics right. At the moment that means repetitious routines of hand-to-hand drumming - left right, left right, left right etc - ensuring that each stroke has the same loudness, that the sticks always rise to the same height and that the interval between the strokes is constant.


Cycled along the Forth and Clyde canal this afternoon to collect some paperwork from a client.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Relief mixed with actual pleasure.

No time for railway today, so as usual, some images from Google search re French model railway related stuff.

Yielded some sketches and models of the Gare du Nord and a great early picture of the Eiffel Tower.

Currently listening to:

Radu Lupu playing Schubert sonatas.
Last night's dinner:

Chicken in tomato sauce plus samphire
Currently reading:

Drumming practice update:

Our Samba band played in a Christmas Carnival parade in Glasgow today and I think we were a success. People cheered and clapped our playing as we marched through the crowded streets of the city centre.

Tried to take a few photographs but it was pretty well impossible to get everyone in - here are a few real scrappy efforts.

That's actually my gloved hand holding 2 sticks in the foreground - it was very cold.

The scene immediately behind us.
After yesterday's disastrous rehearsal, I was hugely relieved that the performance today was deemed by everyone to be a success. And, I actually enjoyed it.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Terrible Samba Drumming Rehearsal

No time for railway today so here are a few SNCF related images from the web.

Lovely locos - you just don't see locomotives anywhere  these days

Just like this.

I think this is a mosaic of Limoges station.

Not sure what's going on here.

Perhaps wallpaper for a child's bedroom.
Currently listening to:

Last night's dinner:

Pizza with artichokes, black olives and anchovies.
Currently reading:

Just reached the halfway point where the author has left The Communards and is searching for meaning in his life in the form of Christian faith.

Drumming practice update:

The Samba drumming rehearsal this morning for tomorrow's appearance at a parade in the centre of Glasgow was probably the worst ever. The other Caixa player and myself simply could not keep up with the speed/tempo that has been deemed necessary for the performance.

When I mentioned the problem to the leaders they reflected on their own past experience of finding oneself out of one's comfort zone - sink or swim.

Better take a lifebelt!

Friday, 21 November 2014

Bought our Christmas Tree today.

Sorted the heights for the streetlights today by gluing the little circular plinth in a position so that the lights will be approx 4 cm tall.

The plinths in a variety of different positions - they slide up and down the poles.

Glued into position.

Temporarily lined up - still to be connected to the red and black wires..
Currently listening to:

Occasionally, in days of old, I used to record episodes of the John Peel BBC radio show onto audio cassettes. I still have a few of these.

I remember one such programme when he played, in fairly close proximity, the tracks "First Impressions" by The Impressions and something (can't remember the title) by King Curtis.

King Curtis
For decades, I've been meaning to search out the King Curtis track on iTunes. But without a title to go on - or even a hint of  what the title might have been - the search was put on the back burner.

Anyway, today after downloading "First Impressions" I decided to go through the list of 383 King Curtis songs that are available on iTunes, playing the first few seconds of each, until I found "the one".

Track 86 proved to be it; recognised it immediately. The title rang no bells whatsoever: "Pots and Pans".

Brilliant track  recorded live at Small's Paradise.

Last night's dinner:

Plaice and artichokes under grilled cheese.
Currently reading:

Still engrossing.
Drumming practice update:

A bit of a revelation yesterday when practising with the other Caixa playing member of my Samba band. It was actually his revelation.

To inject a Samba groove into the following simple pattern:

UPPER CASE = loud,  lower case = soft.

r l R L, r l R L, r l R L, r l R L, r l R L, ........

one should move forward the fourth and last stroke in the pattern so that it almost immediately follows the third stroke:

like so:

r l RL, r l RL, r l RL, r l RL, r l RL, ........

Miscellany 1:

Another revelation came this morning when I at last grasped how to use Truth-trees to identify invalid arguments in sentential logic.

That was followed by my getting 100% in the latest online examination.

Miscellany 2:

Bought a lamp today for the garden - when the summer evenings come back next year.

But before then, it will be this year's Christmas tree. It will sit on some sort of plinth and have little Nativity scenes and the like around its base.

We had first come across these one-piece plastic moulded outdoor lamps many years ago at a hotel in Girona and we've never forgotten them.

Different shape but same principle.
There were other models available in the shop, including illuminated chairs.