Archive for the 'Thanks' Category

Ah, that’s better

Posted by on January 12th 2013 in Shiny new kit, Thanks

As you know, I've had my fill of poor customer service recently.

I can now report that good order is beginning to be restored. Top marks go to Nevisport, who took the time to do it right and wasted no time in sending the goods. Furthermore, they were kind enough to extend the 14-day returns period so that I could buy on Boxing Day and still have a return option up until the end of January, thus covering a rather important birthday.

To be fair, I don't think there's the slightest chance of me sending them back. Right now there's no way that Chris is going to be parted from her new Scarpa SL M3s.

Thanks, Nevisport!


Proper boots, none of yer Jessiehiker membrane rubbish.

Good Tidings of Great Joy

Posted by on December 30th 2010 in Celebrations, Thanks

Of all the gifts given and received this festive season, the greatest of all was delivered by the postman just before Christmas... a parcel from Luke, containing a letter and gifts for his sisters and a letter for his Mum. Luke will probably never realise just how happy they are now, and there's no way that we could adequately express it on here, but we felt that we had to let the world know about it. In his letter he says that he's doing well and is enjoying his life, and we're happy for him.

In the letter to his Mum Luke raises many issues which are of concern, some of those issues are valid, some are not. It's clear that there's a need to deal with those issues, but sadly Luke did not include either a postal or an email address, so there's no way that we can have two-way communications to get things sorted. This also means that we can't send Luke the presents and mail that have been accumulating here for him since his departure.

The "Missing Luke Talion" Facebook group page has now been taken down by the page's administrator because it has served its original purpose and because Luke said that it was having adverse effects on his personal and professional lives, despite his claim that he'd not actually read it. We would like to thank everyone that supported the group, and also those who offered support via this blog. If you're one of them then you have our gratitude and we wish you well. If you still need to contact us off-blog about this, you can use the Contact Page here, it's email-based so whatever's sent doesn't get published on the blog.

One of the readers of the Facebook group kindly sent the page's administrator a recent photo of Luke out with some of his friends, here it is with appropriate pixelation:



BTW, I'd decided on the title for this post some days ago, but I thought that I'd Google it to be sure that I'd got it about right. I'd say it's a coincidence of biblical proportions that the text is from Luke 2:10

Have a good ‘un

Posted by on December 24th 2010 in Celebrations, Thanks

Just wanted to take this opportunity to wish all readers and followers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Another one in the pipeline

Posted by on November 22nd 2010 in Great Escapes, Thanks

This multi-family hostelling malarkey is becoming a habit - first it was Windermere YHA, next it was Buttermere YHA. We'll complete the hat-trick during the Easter holidays when we stay at Borrowdale YHA for three nights. Trefor, the Hostel's Management Hero, has agreed to let us pay with Tesco Clubcard Rewards Tokens and that is going to save us a small fortune (family rooms are £66 a night, so we're looking at using £47.50-worth of Vouchers to get £190-worth of Tokens, the remainder we'll pay in cash). Thanks, Trefor!

Just a quick note here - if you've a mind to use your Tesco Clubcard Vouchers for this sort of thing, be aware that the current exchange-rate of 4:1 changes to a less-favourable 3:1 on December 6th 2010 so get your exchanges done pronto. Tokens have a shelf-life of six months so they're worth getting now if you're going to use them during the first bit of next year.

Anyway, we've yet to discuss objectives and we're mindful that a lot will depend on the weather and on the mind-set of the kids in our group, but the environs of Borrowdale offer so much and at so many different levels of ability that we shouldn't be stuck for choice. A couple of options that I'll chuck into the mix are a short bimble up Rosthwaite Fell with a possible extension to Glaramara and maybe even as far as Allen Crags, and a trudge up to Styhead Tarn with the possibility of a pull up to Great Gable. Both of these offer superb adventures for budding young fell-walkers, letting them get into the real mountains and putting some rock beneath their boots. Then there's the knot of lower fells around Watendlath where I've spent many a happy afternoon - I could let the others wander the fine network of paths there for a few hours while I try to tease a few trout out of the tarn.

Hopefully it'll be a bit drier than the last time I stayed at Borrowdale...


e+LITE refurb

Posted by on October 29th 2010 in Shiny new kit, Thanks

A few days ago I emailed Lyon Equipment Ltd. After Sales to find out about getting a replacement rubbery band for the red plastic pod for my Petzl e+LITE - my band is showing its age and has many deep cracks in it, it would probably have broken during the next outing.

Yesterday the postie delivered a packet containing not just a replacement rubbery band but also a new pod and a new headband complete with the revised cord-grip (the one with the integral whistle). All FOC despite my offer to pay.

Joe Faulkner, you're a star, thank you!

New on the left, old on the right

They Do It With (hyperbolic) Mirrors

Posted by on October 11th 2010 in Astrostuff, Shiny new kit, Thanks

I wouldn't have bought this if it hadn't been on offer and if I hadn't managed to get a further significant discount.
It takes up less room on the mount than the big black 8-incher does and it doesn't catch the breeze so much, so it's a lot more stable.
Add to that the facts that it's lighter, more portable and gives a much bigger flat-field for imaging, and it was a no-brainer.



For those with an interest in such things, it's a GSO GSRC6M 6" f/9 Ritchey-Chrétien Astrograph as supplied by Teleskop Service (as opposed to the Astro-Tech version marketed by Astronomics). The Ritchey-Chrétien design is favoured by many professional observatories (including the Hubble Space Telescope) and by some high-end amateurs for many reasons (the absence of any refractive elements, the fixed primary mirror, the coma-free image capability etc.) but until recently they had been expensive beasts compared to other Cassegrain designs. I've wanted one for many years and when the chance to get one came along I grabbed it with both hands.

FWIW, here are some of the specs:

  • Design: True RC (Ritchey-Chrétien) with a hyperbolic primary and a hyperbolic secondary mirror. No glass corrector plates or lenses in the optical train
  • Aperture: 6" (152mm), Focal Length 1370mm, Focal Ratio f/9
  • Primary Mirror: BK7- surface quality 1/12 Lambda or better, 99% dielectric high-reflectivity coating
  • Secondary Mirror: BK7, 99% dielectric high-reflectivity coating. Robust collimatable cell. Complete obstruction = 77mm
  • Construction: Steel tube with alloy primary and secondary mirror cells. Total weight 5.4kg
  • Focuser: Axially-rotatable 1:10 dual-speed Crayford focuser for extremely smooth focusing with no image-shift, accepts 2" and 1.25" accessories

Just in case you were wondering, it is currently on offer discounted from 898 Eur to 499 Eur including tax... suffice to say that a polite request to TS resulted in a favourable deal at a much-reduced total cost and including a GSRCV50 50mm spacer placed between the focuser and the telescope. At this point I must thank Wolfi Ransburg of TS for the great deal - thanks, Wolfi!

Typically, we've had cloudy nights here ever since the thing arrived 🙁

Back from the Trojan Wars

Posted by on August 26th 2010 in Thanks

Thanks to the efforts of Alex and Dan at Computer Plaza, I have a fixed laptop with a clean OS installation. They weren't able to save any useful data but at least the thing works. I've spent a fair few hours downloading and installing stuff from the Lenovo website so as to get back to something like the OEM setup with all the bells and whistles such as the HDD impact-protection, the dedicated extra keys and all of the other original ThinkVantage utilities.

I'm still missing all emails/addresses/attachments, address-book data, organiser data, maps, 30+ years of walking routes, CVs, e-books, employment details, purchase records, service agreements and a few other things, but most of the apps have now been reinstalled.

I'm a tad happier now.

I guess that I have a lot of catching-up to do - Google Reader says that I have 983 posts to read 😯

I'll do another back-up first, though :mrgreen:


Posted by on July 24th 2010 in Thanks

We'd be much obliged if all readers could have a look at the "Missing Luke Talion" Facebook page, and spread the word about it. The page was set up by our niece Katherine in the hope that somebody out there can help us to find out if Luke is OK.

I think that most of the info we have is on that Facebook page, but for the sake of clarity I'd like to add that my other half, Chris, is Luke's mother, I'm his step-father and Mike is his natural father.

If you have any info that can help, please post it via Facebook if you can. If you don't want to communicate via Facebook, you can email us via this blog's Contact Page.

Thanks for your attention.

*** Click here for an update posted 30/12/2010 ***

Fixed Assets (and more Consumables)

Posted by on July 19th 2010 in Celebrations, Thanks

More pressies



Posted by on July 18th 2010 in Celebrations, Thanks

Good healthy vittles

48 today.


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