Wednesday, 22 December 2004

ACDSee V7 & Mike's beautiful girlfriend

To get techie for a second - I have just updated ACDSee photo management software to version 7.0.

V7.0 includes support for Nikon .NEF RAW image format - so I've been experimenting with it (using pictures of Mike & Jen!).

Wierd stuff is happening!

So as I shot NEF+JPG I have the original low quality JPG which looks okayish and the NEF. ACDSee displays the NEF files really brightly! (is it scaling displayed colours to top end of the 16 bits per pixel or something?). Anyway If I just 'save as JPG' I get really dim picture. Instead if I use exposure adjust (auto) 1st, then save I get a decent photo.

This photo is with flash by the way ( the one below is without). Next time I'll try my new SB-800 Speedlight flash which arrived in the post this morning:-

(c) Bill Pinnell 2004

Mike and Jen and mince pies

Chris and Gillian invited Denise, Ethan and myself down to Godlaming for the annual mince pies and mulled wine bash. Everyone was happy to take Ethan off our hands (at one point I didn't know who had him!). This was also the 1st time we've got to meet Mike's new girlfriend - Jen. Jen seemed to have a calming infuence on Mike (well - when they were in public anyway...) It was nice to show off Ethan to them too! (note - he'll probably put a few pictures on his blog later)
(c) Bill Pinnell 2004

Tuesday, 7 December 2004

No sign of Jupiter...

The moon through my Tele Vue 60 APO (for those that are wondering - this is my portable scope - reviewed in this month's Sky&Telescope) Was trying to get Jupiter and moon together but clouds came up and obscured the Jovian giant. (better get to bed its 3.40 am)

Updated on 11th Dec: Above photo was taken using old Isux V3 camera - was just too much like hard work getting the D70 focused and balanced on the TV60 on just a Manfrotto tripod!
(c) Bill Pinnell 2004

Monday, 29 November 2004

Goodbye LX90!

Last look at my telescope before I sold it!
(c) Bill Pinnell 2004

Saturday, 13 November 2004

Our Son: Ethan Michael Pinnell

A reminder that our son - Ethan Michael Pinnell now has his own website/blog which you can find at

Friday, 12 November 2004

Bean launches his own Baby Blog!

You can find Bean's Blog here...

The Morning After

So I left Denise and Bean at about 12.30am this morning at Hospital. Bean was wrapped up for the night and even had his wooly hat on as he was a little cold.

I'll get some more photos today - the one posted below has not been photoshop'd for those that asked (!) - I think the white balance was off on the P900 when I took it - that's why Denise has come out with a bit of a yellow tan!

Best wishes to all our friends and family - and thanks for all the lovely messages we have received.

Bill, Denise & Bean

Thursday, 11 November 2004

Our Baby Boy!

Our Baby Boy!

So, 9 minutes ago Denise gave birth to our son - nickname Bean - to be named tomorrow!

Bean is 8lb8oz. The labour was 30 hours long and not always 'a walk in the park' - But Denise and Bean are doing fine.

I'll post some more pictures of him tomorrow.

Sunday, 7 November 2004

1700ft of Ascent on Sunday Cycle

Went with the Sigma Sport ride down to Ranmore Common & Box Hill before coming home via Headley and Epsom. Good ride. Managed to keep up and even lead for a bit (going downhill where my weight works for me!)
(c) Bill Pinnell 2004

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Excellent Sticky Toffee pudding at The Laughing Gravy on Friday. Also good example of the improvement in mobile blogging picture quality when you use a camera phone with 1 Mega pixel or more resolution

Wednesday, 3 November 2004

Hurrah! New car arrived

Hurrah! New Car has arrived. Pram / Baby Seat is ready for collection. Bean hasn't arrived yet. All going to schedule... ish
(c) Bill Pinnell 2004

Sunday, 31 October 2004

One big hill and a couple of nasty little ones

Only one big hill this week - still knackering
(c) Bill Pinnell 2004

Off on another cycle torture session

Getting ready for another Sigma Sport Sunday Cycle. Glad the clocks went back - had a bit more sleep than last week.

Not sure about the weather/temperature - don't know whether to go with the shorts or the bib tights.... decisions decisions - "does my bum look big in this lycra?"

I'll post my HRM log as usual.

Saturday, 30 October 2004

Nursery almost Finished

So the nursery only needs a chest of draws, a mattress for the cot, curtains and a baby!
(c) Bill Pinnell 2004

Lots of Animals in the nursery

So Denise and Emma tried to get all animals from Noah's Ark on the nursery walls... Don't get too close to some of them (Emma was better at using the animal 'stamper')
(c) Bill Pinnell 2004

Friday, 29 October 2004

Stoneleigh Sunrise

Nice sunrise on Wednesday - this was the view from the back room. Taken with the D70 - didn't have time to find optimal manual settings so I just put it onto 'NightShot' mode and took 20 or so.
(c) Bill Pinnell 2004

Tuesday, 26 October 2004

7 years on - finally a stand-up shower!

So I promised some pictures of our new bathroom - here they are....
(c) Bill Pinnell 2004

Sunday, 24 October 2004

HRMax of 188 = "oh my god! how much further is the top?"

Boy, I'm knackered. Just got back from Sigma Sport sunday cycle.

Ride was 41 miles, plus I've done an extra 10 going to Hampton and back.

I was worried when they decided there was only going to be one group - but encouraged when they said it would be a flat one out to Windsor. Somebody changed their mind half way along though and we ended up going to Coombe, Newlands Corner, Clandon, Cobham and god knows where else.

Ended up having to get off and walk 20 yds on one hill - which was stupid because if I'd known it was only a little further I may have been able to stick it out - The Shame!

Anyway - everyone was really friendly and helpful and I'll try and go again - baby permitting.

p.s. this pint of Coniston Brewing Co. "Bluebird Bitter" tastes wonderful and I've also got Sunday Roast to look forward to! (there is an upside to exercise)

(c) Bill Pinnell 2004

Saturday, 23 October 2004

Getting ready for baby 'bean'

So... its only a couple of weeks away (well I hope he isn't too early...) and there's still lots to do.

We've got the nursery finished today (except a bit of furniture/chest of drawers etc). White fluffy clouds courtesy of granny Margaret and wall paper / lining paper on walls courtesy of grandpa Wayne. Lots of other stuff generously donated by friends (Andy, Maria & Jools, Chris & Gillian - thanks!)

The new bathroom is finished - was bloody expensive in the end - especially having to knock down a wall to fit the bath in - but its so much better - hurrah! We can finally have a stand-up shower after 7 years of living here! [Thanks to Wayne for helping with the decorating too]

We started on sorting out all the crap downstairs today - taken a lot down to the garage, throwing out a lot too - just so much stuff we have accumulated.... We need a bigger house! [are looking at an extension in the new year]

I'll post some pictures later of the finished rooms!

Sigma Sport Sunday Ride

I've decided to join in the regular sunday morning ride from Sigma Sport cycle shop in Hampton at 9.30am tomorrow.

Bit nervous that I won't be able to keep up - especially on any hills! I think this lot tend to see if they can get Leith Hill, Box Hill & Ranmore Common into their rides - if so I think I may be making my own way home.

I'll post a log of how it goes. Here's hoping it stays dry!
(c) Bill Pinnell 2004

All that glitters isn'tgold....

Sold the Corsair memory! Damn stuff didn't work with the Abit AV8 and AMD FX53 CPU. Replaced with cheap dual 512Mb (infineon) sticks - works a treat.

Especially after I loaded the optimised BIOS defaults and found the NVidia drivers for the 6800 Ultra on the web.

Now my 3dmark05 score is 5200 - up from 3600!
(c) Bill Pinnell 2004

New family, new car - which one is going to arrive first?

This is the new sensible familiy car we are getting. Its a Ford Focus Estate, TDCI Diesel, 115 bhp

Of course it would be better if the damn car had been delivered by now - its about 2 weeks overdue from :(

...Need it soon - I think Denise is going to pop any day!

(c) Bill Pinnell 2004

Tuesday, 12 October 2004

Got to sell the Puma and replace with 'sensible family car' :( X REG 2000, 1.7i 16v, ABS, Aircon, 66,000 miles (most motorway), 1 owner (us) from new, £5700 ono
(c) Bill Pinnell 2004

Sunday, 26 September 2004

Cross country route

Route from Ben's: Tadley, Mortimer, Beech Hill, Spencers Wood, Farley Hill, Nine Mile Ride, Martin's Heron, Ascot, Virginia Water, Shepperton, Lower Sunbury, Hampton Court, Kingston Upon Thames, New Malden, Worcester Park
(c) Bill Pinnell 2004

50 mile ride

As training for next week's Oxford to Cambridge bicycle event I decided to cycle back from Ben and Dorinda's in Tadley near Reading. Route works out as 50.3 miles (via New Malden). Took me 2:50. Lovely countryside - only bad thing was cycling past so many lovely pubs without stopping for a pint! At least I had Sunday Lunch to look forward to at the end. Will post route later.
(c) Bill Pinnell 2004

Friday, 24 September 2004

Sushi in Borough Market

Sushi in Borough Market

Fancy the outdoor feel whilst eating Sushi at lunch ? Maybe someone should tell Feng Sushi that though the Sun is shining ... its bloody cold today!

Tuesday, 21 September 2004

Oxford to Cambridge Sponsored Cycle for British Heart Foundation

On October 3rd I'm going to attempt my first long distance cycle ride - with the added incentive that it's for a good cause.

If you would like to sponsor me then please proceed to my online BHF sponsor page where you can donate some monies to charity!

They haven't published the route yet - but it's described as "The 75-mile route follows quiet roads through the rolling Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire countryside to the fenland of Cambridgeshire."

Its going to be hard work as we have Denise's birthday dinner the night before up in town - plus I have to get to Oxford for the start by 9.30ish at the latest!

If you are interested in joining me take a look at the BHF Events page

Friday, 10 September 2004

Ahh, this is my poor exhausted wife after going up and down the Bruges Belfry!
(c) Bill Pinnell 2004

Bruges by Night

Bruges at night
(c) Bill Pinnell 2004

The Archery Guild Tower in Bruges

The Archery Guild Tower in Bruges
(c) Bill Pinnell 2004

Wednesday, 8 September 2004

The Belfry Tower in Bruges

(c) Bill Pinnell 2004

So this is the tower I dragged Denise up. The mediaeval belfry tower (13th-15th century) is 88 metres in height and houses the former city treasury, in which Bruges' valuables (money and royal charters) were once kept. A climb of 366 steps takes the visitor past the impressive clock mechanism and culminates in a breathtaking panoramic view of the city and its surroundings. The famous 47-bell carillon is also located here.

More detail here

Thursday, 2 September 2004

Dinner at Cafedraal

Dinner at Cafedraal

Courtyard table at very nice restaurant in Bruges - Live music from upmarket Sax & bass "buskers" - don't know yet how much it will cost to get them to move on to the next table...or if they do requests

Westmalle - Still brewed by the monks!

Westmalle - Still brewed by the monks!

On our brewery tour today we learnt that though 100 year ago Bruges had 50 breweries (for a population of 25000) today it has Zero :-( The Henry Maes / Halfmoon brewery was the last. Out of the hundred other breweries in Belgium only 5 are still brewed by Trappist monks in abbies - Westmalle being one of them

Denise & Bean relaxing in the sun

Denise & Bean relaxing in the sun

After dragging Denise and 'bean' up 366 steps of the Bruges Belfry tower - its time to take it easy...

Belgium beer in Markt Sq in Bruges

Belgium beer in Markt Sq in Bruges

Tuesday, 31 August 2004

Lovely pint of ESB!

Lovely pint of ESB!

Bill, Bike & Beer in the garden of The Wych Elm pub in Kingston. Impossible to find - like a Mr Ben magical pub! Well worth it though. Manuel's cooking & beer keeping great.

Monday, 30 August 2004

Chris and Gillian get smoochie in 'The Villagers' pub

Chris and Gillian get smoochie in 'The Villagers' pub in Blackheath (the one near Guildford - not SE London)

Excellent Home BBQ'd burgers were consumed with a dodgy pint of 'Charmflours' beer before changing to 'Hop Garden Gold'. Can't consume too much as I'm cycling back to Stoneleigh from Godalming later!

Tuesday, 24 August 2004

The Pleiades - reprocessed

Had a quick go at reprocessing my Pleiades picture from two weeks ago - mucked around with contrast and unsharp mask - only in ACDSee - nothing serious - pretty pleased with the results. Surprised at the number of stars visible given the light pollution.

I really want to make/buy a cheap/portable/small tracker now for correcting sidereral motion on my camera - new project!
(c) Bill Pinnell 2004

Sunday, 22 August 2004

Who needs a car?

This is the most direct route to my friend's house in Downley near High Wycombe. 37 miles door to door.
(c) Bill Pinnell 2004

New Road Bike

...So this is my new bike! As said earlier, the heart of the bike is the new Specialized S-Works Tarmac Carbon/Aluminium frame. Other components are new 2004 Dura-Ace 10 Groupset inc Hubs and SPD-SL Pedals, ITM Carbon Bar and Stem, SDG Bel Air saddle (from old bike) and a pair of sturdy Mavic Open Pro wheels. I picked up the bike from Sigma Sport in Hampton Wick on Thursday morning. 128 Miles later I can say its a great bike and completely different from riding my Rockhopper!
(c) Bill Pinnell 2004

There And Back Again

So I decided to cycle back from Oliver's. a) didn't want to muck around taking wheels off bike. b) there were some hills from Saturday that I wanted to take my revenge on... Though it was much faster on the way back I managed to get lost twice near uxbridge and then Twickenham (adding on 4 miles). Sunday lunch and a chilled bottle of London Pride made an excellent finish!
(c) Bill Pinnell 2004

Saturday, 21 August 2004

Should have gone the opposite direction

My first non-commute journey on the S-Works Tarmac bike - cycling to Oliver's in Downley (36 ish miles) God I'm knackered!
(c) Bill Pinnell 2004

Friday, 20 August 2004

Vote for Beaker and Honeydew!

I urge any readers to vote for Beaker & Honeydew in Cult Television's 'Top Screen Scientist Vote'. Does anyone else think Derek Sellin bares a remarkable resemblance to Beaker?
(c) Bill Pinnell 2004