Update April 2014

I know I’ve been fairly quiet, but it’s probably a good idea if you’ve not got a lot to say then say nothing – so that’s what I’ve done.

Still just to contradict myself I’m really updating this out of habit. I know I’ve not updated for over a month now so you might be wondering how my positivity quest is going.

So positive updates it is:

Weight – now down to 13st 13lb, so getting close to my initial target of 13.5. Once there I’ll review and it’s more than likely I’ll try for 12.5.

Positivity – a few of my goals towards positivity have been achieved, though they might appear to be odd but you need to be in my head to understand them.

  • Social Networks: You may have noticed my lack of updates, well it’s all part of a plan to limit social networking to once a day – well sometimes twice, but rather than being a slave to status updates I can actually do things now.
  • Email: As with social networks I no longer want to be a slave to email. iPhone notifications and auto fetch are now disabled. So if you need me urgently then call, if not it’ll wait.
  • Photography: Nothing stopped, in fact I’m booked on a course for studio photography in the next few weeks
  • Fitness: Running seems to ok now, most days as well as cycling to work I’m running around 2 miles each morning. Currently contemplating a mini triathlon (200m Swim, 5km bike ride, 2.5km run), though the swimming is the one event I’m concerned about.
  • So there you go, a positivity statement for April.

    Still working towards my personal freedom, small steps to build momentum.

    The Photography Show – NEC Birmingham

    So the annual trip to a photography show is now complete (this year it changed from Focus to ‘The Photography Show’) – actually surprised how busy it was for a weekday. For a change I wasn’t overly bothered about kit, nor did I have any intention of spending large amounts of cash.

    The show itself was much the same as Focus on Imaging – which isn’t a bad thing to be honest, though the main difference was a couple of stages where every hour or so Pro togs would talk about their specific genre of photography. I did sit through a wedding show which mainly comprised of the professionalism of the photographer – which was a better talk than it initially sounded.

    First up for me, was the Canon stand – like a moth to a flame, or me to an Apple Store I’m drawn towards the Canon Stand – probably some blinded fanboy loyalty, or most likely cos I own a chunk of the Canon Eos system. My only temptation camera wise at present is the EF135mm f/2 L – so I’d thought i’d have a look. The results aren’t anything spectacular (it’s indoors at the NEC!) but I had a brief play…..

    Tube things

    Eos 1DX and 24-70MkII

    Some bloke looking at things, colour down to me not playing with white balance and leaving it on auto – possibly the NEC lights might be an issue also

    So there you go, Canon sorted. The one stand I wanted to check out was the Bessel Lighting stand – mainly as I wanted to speak to Tony Rabin who was demonstrating their kit. I’ve met Tony before at YPS and I do plan to visit his studio for Lighting and Model shoots. After a brief chat I finally got round to purchasing a remote trigger. I do own the Canon ST-E2 remote trigger, which is fine – but limited (distance) so I bought a £19.99 remote and £9.99 tripod/hotshot adapter. One trick with this is set the connected flash up as a master and reset as slaves and they all work fine. With this adapter you loose the E-TTL capability and have to use manual, but for studio settings that’s normal anyway. I’m tempted to eBay the ST-E2 and spend the cash on some soft box stuff from Bessel.

    Light Things

    The picture above is just a test of the setup. The first EX580 MkII is connected to the hotshot adapter and the remote receiver is connected. This flash is setup as a master (and for space reasons I’ve stuck the front in a roll of packing tape). The other EX580 MkII and EX430 Mk1 are setup as slaves. The primary flash triggers the other two automatically. The 580 MkII’s were set with a flash rating of 1/128th and 430 was set to 1/64th (both at their respective lowest flash setting).

    It seems to do the job well enough :)

    Leaving things behind

    Dear All,

    As part of my transformation into ‘new’ me I’m trying my best to leave the past in the past – for too long I’ve let the past cloud my present and future. So in essence if I talk about the past, please hit me (though not too hard).

    So what goes? Surely if the past is behind me then everything should go? Well there is an argument that the past shaped me, so all the life experiences shouldn’t be forgotten. That’s true, but I certainly can’t change that now, and character traits I have are from the past so the past will always be with me. Now I’ve confused myself, considering the past that’s not really a surprise (joke).


    Unlearning bad habits, or just changing habits is a start. Giving up was something I excelled at – so will I master it all? I need to learn what ‘all’ is. That’s part of the reprogramming. It’ll take time, small steps will lead to more momentum – once i’m up to speed then I’ll know.




    Visitors to the blog might not realise, but change has been busy working away in my life. I’ve hinted at fitness and weight loss and this is continuing to be great – currently down from 15st 13lb to 14st 5lb so things are looking up, or in the case of weight down.

    So this improvement has led me to look at other things in my life, the main one being positivity – or the previous lack of it. So the next change is a state of mind. Rather than look back at life and wonder why me, I’ve decided to move on and be more positive in my out look. One thing to change is the look and feel of the blog – the theme has changed (it might change again) and pretty soon the dark look will go (once I dig round the CSS files).

    The blog as with many things in my life will be more reflective of colour and positivity.

    The previous blog posts will still remain, but I’m not going to actively maintain any links/images if they become broken. They are consigned to history.

    Thank you.


    (oh, as for the new tag – it’s what i’m working towards)

    Pondering about having a Virgin (installation)

    Jonathan: Hi, welcome to Virgin Media. How can I help?
    Jonathan: Just type your question below…
    You: Just wondering how much work would be needed to get from the street access point to my house as it’s situated at the wrong side of a tarmac drive
    Jonathan: Installation usually takes about 7 to 14 working days to ensure everything is ready and to provide you with the best service possible.
    Jonathan: Our expert installation team will check where you’d like the cables to be run, both inside and outside your home and look for alternative routes for the cable to be taken through the house when the obvious route appears problematic, only after a proper survey by our Installation Supervisor.
    Jonathan: They will tell you the complete way of installation before doing it, if you want you can amend the installation process. You just need to ask our engineers to do so.
    You: Will they dig up the drive?
    Jonathan: Yes, it will require, our engineers will need to dig up the drive way.
    You: what work do they do to restore it back to normal then?
    Jonathan: One of our friendly engineers will come to your home to install your services and leave everything ship shape. Then you’re ready to enjoy the power of fibre optic broadband, TV and phone!
    You: What about the drive?
    Jonathan: They will take care of everything.
    You: So they will re-tarmac the drive afterwards?
    Jonathan: Yes, it will.
    Jonathan: Our engineers are expert and skilled in installation work, they will install your services according to your wishes.
    You: Are you sure about that, some of the installs around here are well dodgy?
    You: Cables left hanging, trip hazards etc
    Jonathan: Yes, I am sure.
    Jonathan: Our engineers will do all they can to hide any wiring. They will also take your suggestions for where they can go.
    You: They’ve not done such a good job in my local area
    Jonathan: They will discuss everything with you before doing it and if you didn’t like it than you can straight away cancel your package.
    Jonathan: If you are not happy with the installation process, you can go ahead and cancel the order straight away. You won’t need to pay any charges at all.
    You: Whats the best price on Broadband only?
    Jonathan: All our pricing are prefixed.
    Jonathan: The best deal is with 60Mb package.
    You: After the cheapest
    Jonathan: You are getting free installation with it which is always chargeable.
    Jonathan: Broadband 60Mb costs £25 a month for the first 3 months and £30 a month thereafter. You will get free installation worth £49.95.
    You: So what is the cheapest then?
    Jonathan: This package will be more beneficial than the cheapest one.
    Jonathan: Broadband 30Mb costs £20 a month for the first 3 months and £25 a month thereafter. You need to pay one off installation fee £49.95.
    Jonathan: For few days only we are offering free installation with our Broadband 60Mb package which is always chargeable. For just £5 extra you are getting free installation and double speed.
    Jonathan: Broadband 60Mb will only cost £9.40 extra over 12 months contract.
    You: Seems expensive when I can get plus net for £2.50
    Jonathan: Can you tell me the speed too?
    Jonathan: Please keep in mind, you need to pay line rental £15 or above with others and with us you don’t have to pay for it. We also have the fastest speed in UK and that’s according to Ofcom.
    Jonathan: Their Broadband speed is depend on Phone line signals which is not the case with us.
    Jonathan: With us you can download to your heart’s content because when we say unlimited, we mean it. And unlike other providers we won’t charge you a penny more.
    You: I’m sticking with a bt phone line
    Jonathan: You will not need a BT line to get our services, as you’re in a cabled area.
    Jonathan: No Phone line is needed with us.
    You: o.k. I think about it as I keep seeing vandalised cable boxes in our area and haven doubts about service level agreements
    Jonathan: ou’re covered with servicing and repairs for life at no extra cost on all your Virgin Media services. Sky will charge a £65 call out fee if you’re out of warranty and £8.25 a month for equipment insurance – but we won’t charge a penny more.
    Jonathan: You’re**
    Jonathan: Your satisfaction is very important to us. Please visit us any time you’re ready to purchase or have any questions, we are here to help.
    Jonathan: Is there anything else I can help you with today?
    You: Don’t care about in the house, just the street cabinets that I see open all of the time
    Jonathan: I have given you the option to cancel your package if yu are not happy with the installation procedure.
    You: O.k. thanks for the info. I’ll consider it.
    Jonathan: Please feel free to chat with us again should you have additional questions.
    Jonathan: Thank you for visiting us today.

    Think I’ll stay with my crappy BT line to be honest, I serious doubt they’ll re-tarmac the drive.