Ikea Twilight Zone

I seem to be in a strange position with the Ikea website. For reasons that I can’t fathom, it is geo-locating me in China, so I am seeing all the prices in Yuan. In addition, I can only see stock levels in Beijing, Shanghai etc, rather than Wembley which is easier for me to get to. I’ve deleted all my Ikea cookies, but that hasn’t fixed the problem. And what distinguishes the Ikea website from what we could call well-written websites is that there is no manual over-ride for their geo-location. They are so confident in it that they don’t bother to give you an option to set it yourself.

Extension tubes

I spotted a set of Nikon extension tubes in Chiswick Camera Centre on Saturday for £29 so I snapped them up as they are something that I have been looking for for a while as a cheap alternative to a proper macro lens. Here’s the first photo with them, from this morning:

This is a close up of a figure that I put a photo of up in a previous post – at the time that was the best reproduction ratio I could get. This was done using my 35mm f2.0 AF-D on my D80 with the PK-12 and PK-13 tubes together. Because the D80 doesn’t have the old external coupling the camera can’t read the aperture that is set (and I have to use one of the proper non-G lens because that way I can still set the aperture manually) so I have to go fully manual, and the metering doesn’t work either because there are no electrical contacts, but its easy to just take photos in digital and look to see what the exposure is like. There is the internal coupling though so I can at least focus without the aperture stopped down.

All in all, very satisfactory – certainly that is close enough so see the paint job brush stroke by brush stroke.

IT Crowd

Went to see the new series of the IT Crowd being recorded on Friday night, courtesy of an old schoolfriend who used to work with the guy who provides a lot of the props for it. I have never seen a more geek-oriented audience, which I guess is hardly surprising. The most amusing part though was a couple of guys sitting behind us who seemed to regard it less as a sit-com and more as a sort of workplace Changing Rooms – they were running through all the posters on the walls and deciding which ones they wanted to add to their office.


It’s fascinating, going back through old blog entries, what utter bollocks I was saying only a year or two ago. Which obviously implies, by the principle of universality, that what I am saying now will become utter bollocks as well.

And I found a misplaced apostrophe in an early post – the horror, the horror!

Prima Donna

Had our office Christmas party last night – black tie bash in a London hotel. Frankie Boyle was supposed to be the compere/comic turn, but what a train wreck. He came on, moaned a bit about people blowing kazoos and then when someone let off one of those balloon things that whizz around the room, he stormed off the stage not having even completed one joke. Last year we had Cheggers and he could cope with people waving iPhones with pictures of his todger at him. Frankie couldn’t even cope with a room of 400 slightly drunk people having a good time. It turns out that Orbis is harder than Frankie Boyle.

Cheggers for next year…


The legendary lost seventh episode of Blackadder II?

No, the focus of all my Sundays for the last 2 months that haven’t been rained off. Finally almost finished – just the floor to go down and that’s only because I can’t move the two huge 8×4 boards on my own.

This is what it looks like peeking through the shrubbery:


And this is what it looks like full on (the drainpipe is now attached):


Set the controls for the heart of the sun

Watching a programme on Pink Floyd the other night that I had recorded ages ago and was reminded of this track (I hesitate to call it a song :). I actually quite like it but nothing could match up to the title of the track, which I still think is just one of the best names ever invented. I assume it inspired the bit after the Restaurant at the End of the Universe in HHGG, which is pretty good going as well.