TinTree | Pictures and things
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Internet Spaceships

When I was about 7 or 8 I used to build spaceships out of Plasticine and Lego. Back then, in the late ’50’s, the promise of flying cars in the year 2000 was very real – my comics were very clear on that point. They were equally clear that there would be spaceships and green aliens. As I got older and ‘graduated’ to sci-fi books it became clear that perhaps the flying cars would be a bit later than 2000, but they would still come. Spaceships however were real. By 1969 humans had reached the Moon and I was still on course to be an astronaut. I’d done all the reading, I could distinguish an alien from a cabbage (despite them both being green), and all that remained was the problem of where in the garden to put the launch pad.

It’s never quite that simple though. Twenty years passed, I had the sci-fi road map, I had got my hands on a computer by ’72 and could program it by ’77. I knew what AI was and why FLT drives were probably not possible. Aliens were a fact, on the basis of probability alone, even though we may never meet them, but most importantly the spaceships were still real. Very real. I however would never fly one and that was a disappointment.

At least it was, up to about 8 years ago.

I still have the Lego and Plasticine models in my head, and the Sci-Fi roadmap, the Alien ID chart, but now I also have access to machines that were undreamed of in 1959 and software that appears almost sentient even today. It’s all connected by an electronic mesh that puts me in contact with people all over the world. And guess what. It lets me actually FLY SPACESHIPS!! I have waited a long time to be able to do that. I’m not very good at it, I keep stalling the warp drive and I’ve lost count of the times I have undocked from the space station without the right ammo for my guns or the cargo I was supposed to deliver, but its fun in a way that I suspect that kids who can’t remember a time before TV, mobile phones and the internet will never really understand.

And the best bit is that as a pensioner I can spend all day doing it if I want to.

I am aware that the idea of ‘Old People’ (that is people over 50) playing online games is odd to some people, but its worth considering that ‘Old People’ are the original designers and builders of these things. They also have time and money, and you need both to pay for the kit to play on and the space to play. I am in the upper 15% of players by age, but what I lack in reaction time I make up for in patience and sheer bloody-mindedness. Its not everyone’s idea of a good time, but for the 8 year-old inside me this is a zillion times better than that spaceship I imagined in Plasticine all those years ago. What’s not to like?

The shots above are ships/structures from Eve Online. The images are not ‘doctored’ to look good, just cropped to fit in this post. They actually look like this, you can fly them (and blow them up). If you want to give it a try go here. To see a video take a look at this – This is EVE – Do it full screen

 

Aslyum Steampunk Weekend Lincoln 2016

Asylum Steampunk Festival

The Asylum Steampunk Festival is the largest and longest running steampunk festival in the World, attracting participants from around the globe. It takes place over the August Bank Holiday weekend in the historic City of Lincoln. Like all gatherings of semi-normal people this festival is fantastic fun – whether you are a steampunk or not (and we all are deep down) – so if you want a fun, entertaining and different time on one of the beautiful cities in England then be in Lincoln at Bank Holiday next year.

Go to The Asylum Steampunk website for more info on the Festival next year

Go to Collections for the pictures

  • They never make one for adults. Its not fair.
  • Children inside huge inflated clear plastic balls
  • This huge 'Hamster Ball' that kids can get into look very dull in daylight - a generic clear plastic shine. Alter the white balance slightly though...

Human Hamster Balls

This huge ‘Hamster Ball’ that kids can get into and roll around in is quite a common sight at the bigger country fairs. Basically a double skinned, air inflated ball made of very heavy clear PVC with a sealable door (so that you can roll on water as well!!), one places ones child inside and they bump around for 10 mins or until they get tired/sick or both. In some places they are on a shallow paddling pool which makes it easier for smaller children to move the ball.

They do not look like the images above though. In daylight they are the generic silver/clear colour of PVC everywhere and make a quite boring picture. However, shift the white balance of the image very slightly suddenly a rainbow of colours appear. Why? Its to do with the way the plastic both filters and polarises the light, and it was not untill I was processing the images that I found this effect. My guess is that this sort of colour shift will occur with other similar clear plastics – those see-through umbrellas for example. We shall see.

Aside from the artistic angle why are these wonderful things restricted to children? I have asked all the stall holders if I could have a go in one – I even offered to pay double the price – but no, its restricted to children. This is not fair.

They are called Zorb balls, and rolling around in one is called Zorbing. Cost about £300-£500 depending on type.

Lake District

Lakes

I just like this one.

Emu

I’ve met this guy’s brother

Went into a shop the other day, as you do, and this guys twin brother was serving behind the counter. I suppose at a similar age I probably looked just as …different, so I shouldn’t really pass judgement.

But then again I’m old so I can say he looked a dork.

Just think, in 40 years time the young of today should have a complete photographic record of their various style changes. Unless of course the hard drive crashes or Apple goes out of business.

In case you are wondering its an Emu.

A character in a Punch and Judy show

Punch and Judy

There is something both scary and very funny about Punch and Judy shows. I saw my first on on holiday on the south coast when I was four and it has stuck with me ever since. I remember being scared of Mr Punches voice, but totally unable to run away because I wanted to see what happened next. I’ve since photographed them whenever I come across them, and to be honest, they still slightly scare me.

  • The Siblings
  • The Other Siblings

Siblings

I was wandering through the center of Leeds one day and what should I see out of the courner of my eye but this happy pair. I’m not a great fan of tiny babies, much less tiny baby images but I decided to make an exception for these two. Naturally their mother and father were nowhere to be seen so I took a few snaps. This aroused quite a lot of interest from passers-by, as an old guy with a big camera photographing tiny helpless infants without so much as asking their parents is the stuff of Daily Mail headlines. Several people stopped to ask what I was doing. We discussed it and they all left very quickly – one lady in particular was visibly horrified when I drew her attention to what I was photographing.

You did look carefully didn’t you?  They are life size dolls in a shop window. This is just two of the 100’s they had on sale. Both genders and all colours, totally realistic in ALL respects (I asked) – full body functions and with a £150 upgrade will breath, cry and even defecate after feeding.

The world is a strange place.

Jacldaws in the evening light on the Palentine Hill, Rome

silhouette

Why should they always be black?

Window sill

Window Vase

Saw this on a window sill in a ‘museum croft’ in the Orkneys. The textures were fantastic and it looks great in mono – mostly because there was not a lot of colour in the image anyway.

Ok. a picture with no artistic merit on my part, but it contains a question that will worry me in the quiet moments of the day for some time to come.

There is a banana on the radiator. I don’t know why

This website is having had a refresh.

I’ve had this site for almost 16 years and in all that time I have had everything from (badly) hand coded pages to full packages. Not all of them have worked very well, and in some cases I have broken them by just tinkering with them. Its fun though – or at least I think its fun.

This sort of site is called a ‘vanity site’ which the Urban Dictionary defines as  a “Website run by an individual or small group purely for its own amusement. The site may try to promote some cause or idea, though not necessarily. ” In my case it gives me the chance to inflict my hobby and views on a defenceless world audience with very little comeback apart from spam in my email inbox

So, what am I going to actually ‘do’ with this tiny corner of the interwebs? Well to start with I’m going to put some of my totally fantastic images on here so that the world can marvel at my boundless talent. Or not, as the case may be. I might just post pictures of tomatoes.

Anyhow, thanks for reading this far and be happy in the knowledge that apart from me you are the only other person in the world to have read this!!