Monthly archives: April 2010

Drifting at the Trafford Centre

Drifting at the Trafford Centre

It may be wrong for an eco-worrier such as I to enjoy motorsport, but I do. I’ve been fascinated by drifting for a while. I blame Need For Speed and Initial D. The rules of drifting must make it the only motorsport which is scored on style. Mostly I was happy to see cars going sideways and I didn’t mind who won.

Drifting at the Trafford Centre

Drifting at the Trafford Centre

Drifting at the Trafford Centre

Motorsport doesn’t often come this close to the centre of Manchester. That the course could be laid out with mini cones on the Trafford Centre’s overflow carpark must have helped. Practice was on the Saturday, but I went for the racing on the Sunday. There was other entertainment laid on- a monster truck and motocross stunts- and a number of interesting cars in the car park. By the end of the day I was covered in flecks of tyre rubber, a side effect of standing on the apex of the corners. There are more pictures in the Drifting at the Trafford Centre set.

Manchester St. George’s Day 2010

I’ve got quite a way behind with editing and uploading my photos. Today may be a day of Photoshopping and uploading.

There are more pictures from Sunday’s parade in the Saint George’s Parade 2010 set on Flickr. If you look closely at the full size version of thgis one you’ll be able to see me and the mayor in reflection.

Object of Desire- a vintage Rolls in the rain

A Rolls on the pavement

These pictures were taken in November, but for various reasons I only got round to retrieving the card they were on yesterday. They were taken on the cheap camera I bought to tide me over after my last Canon died. That camera was stolen soon after, but at least I got the few pictures I took with it.

This vintage Rolls (Phantom?) was parked on the pavement across the road from the Bull’s Head one rotten night when we were drinking there, so I popped out to get pictures. They’re very noisy- I can’t remember why I didn’t use the flash- but I’ve done the best I can with Photoshop to get as much out of them as I can.

Vintage Rolls in the rain

Vintage Rolls in the rain

Vintage Rolls in the rain

Vintage Rolls in the rain

Vintage Rolls in the rain

Would you trust Benedict brand condoms?

A junior civil servant has been “put on other duties” after distributing a memo with some silly, and quite funny, suggestions for events to mark Pope Benedict’s visit to the UK in September.

The Foreign Office has apologised for a “foolish” document which suggested the Pope’s visit to the UK could be marked by the launch of “Benedict” condoms.

Called “The ideal visit would see…”, it said the Pope could be invited to open an abortion clinic and bless a gay marriage during September’s visit.


The document went on to propose the Pope could apologise for the Spanish Armada or sing a song with the Queen for charity.

It listed “positive” public figures who could be made part of the Pope’s visit, including former Prime Minister Tony Blair and 2009 Britain’s Got Talent runner-up Susan Boyle, and those considered “negative”, such as Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney and prominent atheist Richard Dawkins.

If anyone should be apologising at the moment it should be the Catholic church, for so many things I won’t even start listing them.

It’s time to upgrade my graphics tablet

Sadly my trusty old Wacom PenPartner has no drivers available for Windows 7. It still works fine, on XP or earlier, but I’m going to have to get a new tablet for my new computer.

The Aiptek SlimTablet 600U Premium II looks good and has had a few good reviews, so that may be what I get. Unless someone would like to buy me a Cintiq.

EMusic picks

Every month I have 30 credits to spend at on finding new music or filling gaps in my collection. The emusic catalogue isn’t as big as I’d like, but it does skew towards the more obscure so it’s easier to find stuff that would be buried on other sites. Normally I ask for suggestions, but this month I thought I’d let chance find me a fewand just click until I found stuff that interested me.

The first of this month’s choices isn’t all that obscure though- nonstoperotik by Black Francis,in which the Pixies lead man gets all dirty.

Next I thought I’d try some of the music recommended by the site. So Dirty Mind by The Pipettes provided three tracks.

There’s a most downloaded section, which gave me Forced To Love/All To All by Broken Social Scene.

Next I looked at the recently added section, where I found Judy Sucks A Lemon For Breakfast by Cornershop. Certainly not a new band to me, but a new album.

With two credits left I grabbed the last track needed to complete Switzerland by Electric Six and a random track by Ripperton, who are rated as the most popular artist on the site.

I have to develop a more organised way to find new music if this month’s selections are anything to go by, only three out of thirty choices was by an artist new to me.

The Leaders’ Debate drinking game (suggestions welcome) 1

It’s the second of the Leaders’ debates tonight, and I should be listening to it if I don’t get distracted by Episodes from Liberty City.

These look like they’ll become an election fixture, so it’s time to start thinking about a drinking game. Gather around your television or radio and take a drink every time-

Nick Clegg mentions Sheffield, where he’s an MP.

Gordon Brown makes a lame and obviously scripted joke.

David Cameron starts an anecdote with “Recently I was in <city> where I met a….”

Anyone mentions Eton.

The chairman has to shout.

You still find yourself thinking “So that’s what Nick Clegg looks like.”

Watching it on Sky HD bonus addition

Gordon Brown in high definition makes you shudder.

Not-sober-until-Sunday optional additions-

Anyone mentions Trident

Anyone mentions Afghanistan

Anyone mentions “Our brave troops (boys/men and women etc.)

Permanent liver damage (but worth it) bonus

Gordon Brown says “Of course Tony was lying about WMDs and we all knew he was.”

Eyjafjallajökull has trapped my parents in Barcelona

On Sunday we were optimistic that Manchester Airport might be open again by now and there’d be a good chance of them being back today. The airport was supposed to be open from 8 this morning, but when Dad phoned at 9 I checked and renewed eruptions meant it was going to stay closed until this evening at least. There’s going to be an air traffic update at 3pm.

As well as all the people trapped here or abroad there are other problems. There shall be no new (US) comics in the UK this week. More seriously, supplies of some lines of fruit and veg are running low (and the iPad may be delayed). Maybe this will prompt supermarkets to move away from “just in time” exotic foods to something along the lines of “just in season”.