29 August, 2008

Fink's Links #28

It's almost the weekend again! Been a short week for me this week though, due to camping (with very limited internet access), so just a small collection of amusement for your enjoyment this time -

First off this week, this piece has definitely been tapestryshopped...

...now check out the magazine that the "Official Meeting Facilities Guide" publish...heh... ;)

Learn about reCAPTURE (a burst of technical creativity to rival a supernova)!

Ice Cream is an igneous rock?

Some more awesome light grafitti...

An interesting piece called "Photographing the science museum"...

Incredibly beautiful sea urchin inspired art (made from pencils)...

Visit the world's scariest theme park...*ulp*...!

A book I would like for Christmas... ;)

Meet the Star Wars continuity cop...(wouldn't fancy his job much)!

...and finally a nice "Non-Dairy" fail...

More goodies at the same time next week and previous weeks links can be found here (if you like this sort of thing)... ;)

28 August, 2008

Reuters Screen Faulty

Faulty Reuters Screen
Hmmm...looks like the "red" element on the big Reuters screen outside the office has stopped working, leaving everything looking a rather poorly blue/green colour rather than the usual bright crisp display...perhaps it's in sympathy with the rather miserable skies hulking over London at the moment...where is my summer??

27 August, 2008

Rudgwick Steam and Country Show 2008

So, much relaxed by four days sat in a (not too rainy/muddy) field in West Sussex, we got there really early on Friday morning thanks to a herculean effort on the part of Flyingpops (last Thursday night) to get the show shopping done and drop off our faulty laptop to laptop hospital so we didn't have to wait until after opening time to set off...we stopped only briefly to fill up Colin the Camper with unleaded and grab a few newspapers...found the site very easily (with thanks to the Tomtom) driving past (what we discovered later was) Jim Davidson's mansion on the way, very impressive...had a bit of a mad scramble to find our paper work and then we were in, found our spot (right inbetween Flyingpops' folks and Grandad)...set up took about 2 hours, then all we had to do was relax -
Arrived at Rudgwick
- it's nice to be on site so early, wandering round you can watch everyone else setting up -
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #3
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #11
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #12
- and enjoy the calm before the storm...
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #14
It's an interesting show, this one...usually all the various categories of exhibits are grouped together, here things are really shaken up, there are three fields and each of them contain a number of each of the sorts of attractions, so a little bit of steam, a few vehicles and a few displays, only the shops, crafts and fun fair being traditionally grouped, and while this meant that it was a trek to find the people you normally camp near it did keep things interesting for visitors (not just being faced with, say, just a great big field full of tractors, for example)...it is also the only show I have ever been to that has a public footpath running right through the middle of it(!) -
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #5
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #128
- meaning at any point (had there not been hoards of Sea Cadet guards lining it constantly) anyone could have just wandered in and hopped over a stile into the show without paying their £7 entry fee...

It's a fairly small site (comparitively), not being on anything like the scale of Ardingly or Laughton, but I think this works in it's favour as it feels incredibly busy, you literally can't stop finding interesting things to look at, hoards of animals (which you rarely see at any of these shows, being more the preserve of the agricultural circuit) -
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #66
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #46
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #78
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #67
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #68
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #48
- Longbow archery -
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #84
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #87
- remote controlled boats (the poor guys took all their boats to Ardingly earlier in the year and had no pond to play in)!
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #93
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #92
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #91
A (rather noisy) twice-daily Wild West show -
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #52
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #56
- which taught me a number of useful tricks, like remembering not to try drawing on anyone already pointing a gun at me (despite what I had seen in the movies), and never ever to turn my back on a prone enemy (even if I had already shot them) as they might not *quite* be dead...

Plenty of stalls in the shopping area selling all sorts of things -
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #43
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #39
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #37
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #36
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #34
- as well as offering you the chance to smash things up -
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #42
- then enjoy a drink in the huge beer tent (a reasonable selection of real ales) -
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #31
- listening to the (seemingly never-ending) selection of double entendre laden songs on offer by the "New Forest Plonkers"...
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #30
A magic show/Punch and Judy -
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #32
Displays of ploughing (both ancient and modern) -
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #65
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #82
...and using steam to slice up logs -
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #142
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #143
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #141
- not to mention the fun fair -
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #95
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #100
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #108
- and even a drag racing bike from Santa Pod (oddly combining two of our hobbies)!
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #89
...and all completed with the minimum of mud -
Rudgwick Steam & Country Show #158
A really good weekend...even when the rain threatened the car park still filled completely up and we had a constant stream of visitors...so I think we'll be back again next year...only downside was no commemorative plaque for attending to add to our board...oh well, we'll live..! ;)

24 August, 2008


Originally uploaded by finkangel.

What a shame, yesterday was blazing sunshine, this morning we were woken up by the rain pounding on the camper roof...i've bodged us up an awning by using the gazebo side and some strong clips, so at least we can sit outside in the dry, hopefully it clears up later before the increasingly frantic warning calls for people to stop driving their vehicles up to the toilet or the place will turn into a quagmire actually come true

22 August, 2008

ouch :(

ouch :(
Originally uploaded by finkangel.

Just been stung by a wasp that managed to crawl through one of the holes in my crocs...wonderful... :(

Arrived at Rudgwick

Arrived at Rudgwick
Originally uploaded by finkangel.

Got here quite early this morning, everything set up within about two hours...the ground is a bit soft, but certainly not muddy, had to use one of our new ramp and chock sets, lucky we had them! Spent the rest of the day enjoying the sunshine and reading, forecast for the weekend is looking good! :) Looking forward to grabbing a cool beer from the fridge once they are nice and cold! Cheers!

Fink's Links #27

...and back to Friday again (the weeks are going so quickly at the moment!) so it's time to share with you all the things that amused me from the "tubes" recently -

Better start with the very important list of internet safety guidelines we all forgot to read before we started...

Check out the "Time Fountain" (especially freaky when it's running backwards!)...

Recycling gone mad - Boeing 727 put to new purpose...

A novel distributed earthquake detector from an unlikely source...

Some genuinely hilarious examples of Military Humour (use the arrow icons to scroll through them)...caveat - some towards the end are obviously photoshop jobs...

Read how the LHC might shut itself down from the future (Wow!)

Read about (and watch footage from) some shocking "Concerts from Hell"...

Spy on some rich people's NY rooftops (someone has got rather a good zoom)!

The whole of Mario level 1, as a knitted scarf?

Chomp into the "Hillbilly Homewrecker" - Free, to you, as long as it only takes you four minutes to eat it... ;)

Watch "Lightning in slow motion"...

The Dream Customer...

Now, the heartbreaking story of "The Girl in the Window"...

Listen to one mans quest to digitize as much 78rpm vinyl as possible...

Don't normally link to APOD, but this one is a beauty...

"Since 2006 Thai artist Kittiwat Unarrom (whose family also runs a bakery) has used dough as his medium to sculpt gruesome renditions of hand, feet, heads, torsos and other body parts"

Photosynth - Using the worlds geotagged photographs to make something wonderful...

More next week, previous weeks links can be found here...

21 August, 2008

Off to Rudgwick!

Really looking forward to tomorrow, we've bracketed the weekend with holiday and are going to exhibit at the "Rudgwick Steam and Country show" (don your trip-a-tron shades before you click that link, it's a bit "exciting" in the colour department)...

So the camper van is largely packed (as of last weekend actually), just got to throw in the fridge and a few changes of clothes and we are all set...! The weather report isn't looking too bad either (worst day looks like Sunday with "light showers", best day is Saturday with "Sunny" and 21 degrees)...last thing to do tonight will be to made sure all the batteries are charged on everything...

Can't wait... ;)

20 August, 2008

Sal and Jas in Canada

Check out Sal and Jas' new blog, they are visiting family in Canada! He bought rather a nice camera specially for the event too... ;)

18 August, 2008

Wusthof Hollow Edge Santoku Knife

Yes! Finally found out what they are called (my powers of internet search haven't failed me, I've just been passively coveting and sitting here hoping the answer would drop into my lap - as it did)...You *never* (well, very rarely) see a celebrity chef without one of these incredible knives, the indentations in the blade stop whatever you are slicing from sticking to it! Simple, total genius! I will never growl at a carrot again with one of these in my hands...thus - I want - A Wusthof Hollow Edge Santoku Knife...and when I've got it I'll put it next to my impossibly light Kyocera ceramic knife...nice and safe and dry and sharp...

Chop chop... ;)

15 August, 2008

Fink's Links #26

Well well, Fink's Links number 26 (that's half a year's worth!)...and I'm top now if you google it too (as a little bonus)...ner ner ne(ahem)...*shakes head*...okay, anyway...on with the links!

More urban explorations...yes! I like that there is still breaking and entering exploring to be done! ;)

Come and visit "Gulags: Then and now"...

Fancy a "Dead Fred Zombie Chaser" (a bit expensive for Halloween, but could definitely scare off burglars if set up in the back garden)... ;)

Next how about some freshly discovered Nazi Bunkers, uncovered by the sea after laying (sealed and even still fully furnished) for 60 years after their occupants fled (carefully closing the door behind them)!

Sticking with Flickr, how about a poke around the Toy Museum in Prague? Especially like the butchers shop...

A very interesting piece from the "New Yorker" entitled "How medical marijuana is transforming the pot industry"...

A funny (make-believe) monologue entitled "Mom, Dad, I'm Into Steampunk" (teetering, as we are, on the edge of cult-scale adoption)...

"Vegetarians eat for free"...

The Eurika Tower car park (in pictures)...

Some more (and this time absolutely huge) Anamorphic-Illusions (done for arts sake rather than advertising at sporting events)...

Diners flock to flooded restaurant...(yes, that'll be something to tell the grandchildren...not)...

Read about the amusingly short-lived "Georgia monkey hoax of 1953"...

Allow me to introduce you to one or two Catholic "patron saint(s) of" that you may not be familiar with...

Give it 3 seconds (to realise what exactly you are looking at)...although I can assure you they won't be offering anything similar at school fêtes any time soon... ;)

Nip (briefly) into Australian artist Mark Powell's incredibly intricate and nightmarish dioramas (something tells me he has a bright future in video game design)...

Take a peep at some amazing cloud shapes (the animal ones are particularly good)...

Inelegant at shaving? Goatee in danger? Don't mind looking like Hannibal Lecter? Then look no further - a simple solution!

And finally a funny "rule enforcement fail"... ;)

More next week, previous weeks links can be found here...(if you like this sort of nonsense)...

Have a cracking weekend!

13 August, 2008

How to VW T25 brake squeak repair and general service check - DIY

This was actually a few weeks ago now (as you can probably tell by the glorious sunshine in the shots)...poor old Colin the Camper had been suffering with an extremely noisy squeak (squeal/what-have-you) which was obviously linked to the brakes as it stopped when they were applied (for a minute or two), the only problem was that we had absolutely no idea which wheel was to blame (the noise was piercing, intermittent, evasive and didn't happen at low speed)...Anyway, one kind chap we bumped into with Flyingpops' pal Sam to whom we mentioned the problem said that it was 99% likely to be a spring from the rear brakes that had either disintegrated or just popped out of position (leaving one of the pads pressing up against the drum), so, having nothing much else to go on, I bought a new fitting kit (£10 from Just Kampers), and we popped over to see Uncle and Auntie to see if they could help us diagnose the fault...

We started with the low hanging fruit (the rear ones) first of all find a hard point, then raise the wheel to be inspected off the ground with a jack (Uncle Alan has rather a good one) -
VW T25 Brakes DIY repair #1
- (oh and that is the bag of springs etc. on the rear bumper)...anyway, remove the hub cap, followed by the wheel nuts -
VW T25 Brakes DIY repair #2
- and put the wheel (and the nuts) somewhere safe...
VW T25 Brakes DIY repair #12
Next, use a small spanner or socket to carefully remove the drum -
VW T25 Brakes DIY repair #9
VW T25 Brakes DIY repair #10
- to reveal the workings...
VW T25 Brakes DIY repair #6
At this stage it's most important that no-one presses the brake pedal or the whole thing will probably fall to bits! Firstly, inspect the brake shoes and the inside of the drum for obvious signs of uneven wear (also if the shoes are noticeably thin, consider getting them replaced, the ones you see here are perfectly fine), next check for (and remove) any debris (Uncle Alan used his compressed air gun and considerable amounts of brake dust flew out - this can be a cause of odd noises if there is a build-up) -
VW T25 Brakes DIY repair #7
- do the same with the drum -
VW T25 Brakes DIY repair #11
- check to see if any of the springs have popped out from where they should be (it's fairly obvious) and if so, pop them back on, using new ones from the service kit if required, but if you replace one, then replace all of them on *both* sides of the bus to avoid uneven brakeing (just as you would with tires/pads/anything else involving the wheels) there are enough in the kit to do this...pop everything back together and then test the brakes by setting the wheel spinning (it should spin freely) and then get a friend to push the brake pedal (it should stop the wheel immediately and hold it, but that should go without saying)...now lower the bus and do the other back wheel...Next on to the front brakes, these are disk brakes, so no cover, just pop off the wheel and there you go -
VW T25 Brakes DIY repair #14
- check the disk itself for pitting (stones and things can get caught up as it is exposed to the elements) and look for uneven wear (as before), now get your head over the top of the callipers and check that the two brake pads both jiggle around loosely on the pegs they are hanging off, then get a friend to press the brake pedal and make sure they are both pushed firmly up against the disk. If they do, then the brakes are fine. On our last wheel (typical!) it became apparent that ours didn't.

So, this is the process to try and fix the problem, first, remove the two restraining pins (hammer and thin screwdriver do the job perfectly) -
VW T25 Brakes DIY repair #16
VW T25 Brakes DIY repair #17
- remove the brake pad -
VW T25 Brakes DIY repair #18
- and then watch while your assistant pumps the brake pedal to see if the calliper arm extends inside the gap -
VW T25 Brakes DIY repair #19
- ours extended, but didn't go back when the pedal was released, so, some lubrication (WD40 and some specialist brake lubricant) and a lot of elbow grease (just extend it and then use something to push it back in until it works freely) -
VW T25 Brakes DIY repair #21
- re-assemble, then check the wheel spins freely and then stops when the pedal is pressed, and then it's time for a test drive!
VW T25 Brakes DIY repair #22
Squeaking brakes - DONE... ;)
VW T25 Brakes DIY repair #15