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Stacks of Duncansby Road to Wick
Caithness Duncansby Head

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Jupiter and Moons Jupiter
NGC 1647 L 91

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Comet Lulin Sledging
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Video Frenzy

2 comments posted in: Buttons

My MiniDV digital camcorder died a couple of years ago, it no longer played the tapes or recorded properly. Which was a shame as I had several hours of video I had no way of viewing, some of it was backed up to VHS but not all of it and in 2002 I didn’t have a powerful enough PC to capture the video. To get it repaired was going to be costly so I never got it done, so that was that. Until this week when I decided I wanted to see some of these videos again and I found out that MiniDV camcorders are stupidly cheap now, for little more than £100 I bought a decent camera with a DV Firewire output which means I can play and capture the videos! OK, I now have two camcorders (I already have a HDD one which I use) but I’m sure I’ll find some use for it.

So I’ll be spending some happy evenings backing up all the tapes to AVI and then onto DVD.

You can see my first capture in the Movies section.

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 29, 2008 at 04:58 PM by jochta


It’s a Horse

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What a great Saturday I’ve just had, best day for ages. It was my daughter’s 6th birthday party and as usual I had to create a cake masterpiece to order. This year she wanted a horse and I think I did a good job, very yummy it was too. The party went very well despite the Abingdon traffic making us 10 minutes late, whoever designed that new traffic system should be made to lie in the middle of Stratton Way during rush hour. She was happy, we were happy, her friends were happy, I had a nice chat with one of the other mums and dads.

Then it was Reading AS’s monthly meeting in the evening where we had the co-presenter of the BBC’s Sky at Night, Chris Lintott, as our main speaker. I think this was possibly the best meeting since I became Chairman, I thought I presented well (I was a bit average when I started but now growing in confidence) and Chris was excellent. A good speaker, a good subject and unlike a lot of speakers he stayed to …

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Posted: Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 03:54 PM by jochta



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This image has got me all excited (click for full size version).

This is Mercury, and not only that but the first time we have ever seen this side of the planet nearest to the Sun. Yeah, OK it looks like the Moon. We have only ever visited Mercury once and that was a flyby 33 years ago and that only managed to see one side of the planet. The latest mission, Messenger, will eventually go into orbit in 2011 but it did its first flyby on Tuesday and imaged part of the side we have never seen.

Mercury is my favourite planet, not the most visually interesting planet clearly, but it’s elusive, mysterious and difficult to observe. You will have seen my photos of it in my gallery no doubt. It’s also interesting in that it is very dense, has a magnetic field and a thin atmosphere. It could hold the key to how the inner planets, including the Earth, formed. Many more images from this flyby will be released in the coming days and we expect exciting times in …

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Posted: Wednesday, Jan 16, 2008 at 08:38 PM by jochta


The Game is Afoot

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There are things happening life-wise, probably far too early to get excited or even to know if it’ll ever happen. But secondments are possible and not for me! Too early to discuss details, need to do some thinking and planning.

Also on the gaming front I bought a PS3 at last. The last of the three current generation consoles for me, I was always going to get one eventually but there were several reasons why I had delayed. It’s a neat piece of kit, it does some things better than the other two (Wii and 360) but some things worse. So now I have the best of all worlds.

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 15, 2008 at 04:47 PM by jochta


A New Year

2 comments posted in: Buttons

So then dear readers (not that there are any of course). Christmas came and went like it is want to do, everyone had a jolly time, prezzies all round. I got a mountain board to go with my kite, check out the video of me hurtling down a mountain on it in the movies section!

It’s a New Year of course, so a happy one of those to everyone, which has got me thinking what I want to do this year. I’m going to be ambitious. One day I’d like to move house, something a bit bigger, I like this house despite its faults. It has a large garden, it’s in a nice village, it’s quiet but it isn’t big enough. Extend it maybe? Well by the time we’ve done that I think I would prefer a whole new house then get tied down here. A new job. Friday will be the 20th anniversary of me starting my current job. I’m a lifer and that’s beginning to scare me. It’s comfortable, it’s secure, it’s enjoyable and has a great pension. So why am I so bored and fed up in it? So not a whole new job then perhaps. A …

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Posted: Wednesday, Jan 02, 2008 at 01:41 AM by jochta

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