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15th Sep 2008

Leave a comment posted in: Blog: LEJOG

I’m fortunate (in a cycling training sense) to live about 10 miles from work. This gives me a good opportunity to get some rides in during the week. The distance is about right for a decent ride and it’s very flat so I can push myself a little harder than I would on a longer ride.

There is a good network of minor roads as well so I can vary the route and make it longer or take in a hill or two if I want. I usually cycle home a different way to the morning. Yesterday I was a bit pushed for time so I went for the quickest routes, unfortunately my GPSr and PDA got disconnected about halfway in so I’m missing part of the log, I did however have to go home after the first couple of miles as I’d forgotten something so the total distance isn’t far off! I was cycling with two reasonably full panniers as well with a change of clothes, shoes etc.

On the way in there is one short sharp climb up to Sire’s Hill and then a long descent. I sometimes vary this by following the NCN route which goes through …

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Posted: Tuesday, Sep 16, 2008 at 09:07 AM by jochta


14th Sep 2008

Leave a comment posted in: Blog: LEJOG

First ride on the Ridgeback. I’ve decided only to blog rides from this ride forward, I’ve been doing some training rides on my old hybrid bike over the past few weeks but let’s call yesterday Day One of LEJOG training.

So I’m doing LEJOG with my Brother-in-Law Andrew and his friend Tom at the moment. Andrew and I are both 40 next birthday so maybe this is a classic mid-life crisis thing and you might be right in thinking so! I think my brother, who did the LEJOG with his wife in 2001, maybe tempted to join us. At least for part of the journey, if not the whole thing!

Anyway, back to training ride numero uno. Andrew and I took a fairly easy run through the Vale of White Horse (very flat) from my house through Drayton, Steventon and onto the Hanneys. Turning south through Grove and Wantage we joined the National Cycle Network (NCN) local route 44 towards Didcot. I sometimes wonder if anyone from Sustrans has actually cycled some of these routes, because they are occasionally crazy, making you drop down kerbs and cycle along potholed and dangerous tracks.

Through the beautifully managed villages of Lockinge and …

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Posted: Monday, Sep 15, 2008 at 02:31 PM by jochta

The Bike

1 comment posted in: Blog: LEJOG

After much umming and arring over make, model and framesize I eventually plumped for a Ridgeback Panorama. Should I play safe and get a Claud Butler or a Dawes, or play the wildcard? This guys blog convinced me the Ridgeback could do it and would be the bike for me. NickTheTrick cycled from Scotland, across the low countries to Denmark and up through Norway on one! It’s early days for my Ridgeback but so far so good as you will see in the training entries to come.

Patrick Taylor has written a nice review of the bike.

Posted: Monday, Sep 15, 2008 at 12:44 PM by jochta

Land’s End to John O’ Groats

Leave a comment posted in: Blog: LEJOG

You may have spied a new category on the left. LEJOG, the classic British cycling tour from the bottom left of Great Britain to the top right. And I’m doing it (hopefully) next spring/summer. Over 1000 miles of cycling in around 18 days. I’ve got the touring bike and I’m now officially in training. Follow my training progress here and when the time comes I will hopefully be able to do daily blogs of progress.

Posted: Monday, Sep 15, 2008 at 12:39 PM by jochta



2 comments posted in: Buttons

Colour me impressed. I’ve not used Internet Explorer for a long time (other than for testing purposes) and been a Firefox user since it was called Firebird. I found it quicker, cleaner and of course it had tabbed browsing long before IE copied it. However I’ve been a bit mixed over FF3, it’s slower and even more of a memory hog than FF2 was in my opinion and I’ve had a few crashes. Not enough to make me even contemplate using the awful IE7 though.

Now today Google released Chrome and it seems bloody marvellous so far. Boy is it quick as well, makes IE7 and FF3 seem very slow in comparison. It’s worked with every site I’ve tried and I do like the form highlighting. I’m using it right now as a matter of fact! I’ll use it for a few days and see how it goes. One thing I have noticed is it doesn’t seem to work very well with cookies but maybe I need to explore some options.

Posted: Wednesday, Sep 03, 2008 at 01:59 PM by jochta



Leave a comment posted in: Buttons

My latest astroimaging acquisition is a Hydrogen alpha filter. This filter has a very narrow bandpass and only allows light within 13nm of a wavelength of 656nm to pass through it (normal human vision at night is between 400 and 600nm). Some types of nebulae (emission nebulae, planetary nebulae and supernovae remnants) glow particularly strongly at a wavelength of 656nm due to the excitation state of the hydrogen gas in the nebula.

The advantage of using the filter is that it cuts out all light pollution and all ‘visible’ light and only allows the nebula and stars to show. The CCD chips in the cameras are sensitive to this light so you can achieve very high contrast images of nebula, impossible to achieve with filters that allow visible light through. The images are inky black where there is no nebula so even the faintest wisps can show.

Over the coming weeks and months expect to see images taken using this filter appear in the astroimages gallery.

Posted: Friday, Jul 25, 2008 at 01:26 PM by jochta



5 comments posted in: Buttons

I’ve invested in some colour filters and a filter wheel for my astroimaging setup so I’m going to be posting some colour astroimages up over the coming months, I’ve already posted my first LRGB image of M27 into the gallery.

I thought I’d take a few words to explain how this works. The CCD camera I have is monochrome, these are generally better then singleshot colour cameras as they have a higher resolution and there are no filters in front of the chip. So to get monochrome images it’s just a case of capturing multiple exposures and stacking them in software to increase the signal to noise ratio. To get colour you need to take monochrome images through red, green and blue filters. The filters are very precisely made so they only pass through the correct wavelengths, they also block any infrared light which the cameras are sensitive to and can cause problems. They are also manufactured to ensure that they focus the light from the telescope to the same place, so you don’t have to refocus when you change filters.

The filters are held in a filterwheel, this is a mechanical device driven by batteries that rotates …

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Posted: Wednesday, Jun 18, 2008 at 01:52 PM by jochta


Trophy #2

12 comments posted in: Blog: My Life

I know you’ve been waiting for it eagerly since I posted Trophy #1 and here it is.

This one was awarded for being runners up in the Pembroke Cup competition in the Newbury league. Don’t worry, there isn’t going to be a Trophy #3 entry.

Posted: Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 03:04 PM by jochta


Trophy #1

1 comment posted in: Blog: My Life

This is the first table tennis trophy awarded to me for the past season. Best player in Division 3.

Best player means the player with most wins and not necessarily the ‘best’. There were at least three players in the Division were better than me but didn’t win as many matches. This has been the traditional method of working out who wins the best player award for many years.

Posted: Friday, Jun 13, 2008 at 01:43 PM by jochta


I am the music man and I can play!

2 comments posted in: Blog: Gaming

Rock Band, just how good is this?

I’ve played all the Guitar Hero games from the very beginning so I’m pretty good at plastic guitar now (still get whooped by my nephew though, boo) and played through Hard difficulty without any problems. Nearly finished Expert level as well now.

The game also comes with plastic drums (oh yes) and I’ve never played drums before, I found it pretty tough going to start with on Easy level! But now I can smack out a beat on Medium pretty good, dead chuffed that I can do it although alternate right hand and right foot beats still confuse my brain! So you can see what the drums are like check out this YouTube video of someone playing Expert level, that’ll be me soon!

I’ll not mention vocals, except I can’t sing!

Posted: Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 12:25 PM by jochta

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