Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Faded Flowers......

Fireworks stands are not the only temporary, seasonal retail outlets.  In the same parking lot I showed you on Monday were these little plastic huts....


Abandoned in the sweltering July heat, but they were pretty busy a month or so back.  


I peeked inside.  Did I mention its been really hot lately?  It might be time for a further price reduction........




Monday, July 4, 2022

4th of July - Lets Make Some Noise

Of course the Fourth of July is about more than things that go Bang!  But that is part of it.  A few random pictures.....

Note the special Divorce fireworks package!  


And for when things work out a bit better and you have a big Announcement to make....


Shockingly they only sell two genders of the stuff, but I guess anyone who goes in for this sort of thing could mix up any variations that they felt were necessary.  One hopes, for the sake of everyone's ear drums, that nobody does this when expecting triplets and quads.

And of course as the 4th draws near we have the proliferation of fireworks stands and tents.  In Wisconsin there is this odd situation.  Other than puny stuff like sparklers and smoke bombs, fireworks are illegal to light off without a permit.  Heck, even transporting them without the proper paperwork is against the law.  But buying them?  No problem.  I suppose there is this implicit wink-wink that you are going to go right out and get a permit.  Sure you are.  Or drive to South Dakota where it is legal to put match to fuse.  It probably says something about our Revolutionary past and our attitude towards authority.


When speaking with friends over in the UK the subject of what Americans really want did come up.  I think the flag below gets it wrong....


Nah.  I don't think most of us insist on  boasting about America being On Top of the World.  Most of us just want to live our lives without being bothered unduly by assorted nonsense that sometimes includes the more petty aspects of government.

Friday, July 1, 2022

Photography Nuts and Bolts. With some actual nuts and bolts.

It is Off Season for robotics.  But there is always planning to be done.  One area where our team did not live up to previous accomplishments was on the Media/PR side.  It was expected......we had a very capable photographer/videographer who graduated, and when essentially rebuilding the team post Covid it was not an area we chose to emphasize.

But we will going forward.  Thanks to a nice grant for equipment we now have a good SLR camera that can shoot still or video, along with all manner of lens and filter options and a laptop dedicated to editing.  Of course this means many new things to learn, and while the kids are all off being sleep 'til noon idlers (as they should be) I'll try to pick up the rudiments.

So far I've figured out how to charge the batteries, turn it on, point and shoot.  So.....with this admittedly basic start, how much improvement in quality will we see?

I decided to try three options.  The new camera, my phone, and my travel camera.  I've tried to make it a fair challenge, same light, same subject, same minimal skill level.

This is a swerve drive gearbox system.  I put it on a weathered picnic table as a back drop.

First my travel camera.  This is a Panasonic Lumix TS25.  I carry it on expeditions because it is light weight and can be dropped, chewed on, covered with dust etc without making a fuss about it.  Picture One:


Note that I have not done anything with photo editing on this series so it is a bit washed out in bright sunlight.

Now my phone.  This is a four year old Motorola that I got mostly because of long battery life, not for any camera features.  Phones always have the advantage of convenience, and a picture you take that is not ideal is always better than the missed opportunity.


I think it is better.  Honestly I carry the travel camera more for its superior close up function which comes in handy when snapping small Roman artifacts.  Now, the SLR.  It is a Canon 250D with a standard lens.


Hmmmm.  Not that much different.  It did appear to be engaging an autofocus feature which has made the blue tread material less defined.  I have not figured out how to disengage that yet.

To be fair we are mostly expecting this to be a video camera and one used for event pictures where the telephoto lens will be in use.  Also to be fair I am at best a sloppy photographer who has so far just figured out where the ON switch is.

As I laboriously climb the steep learning curve I'll inflict a few more updates on you.


Maybe the SLR is significantly better.  When walking back to the house I encountered a cute bird sitting on the sidewalk.  Here's a point and shoot that turned out pretty well...




Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Strange Fish Geocache - Bull(is)head

Bit of an idle stretch of late.  And at such times I get around to one of my ongoing projects, the Strange Fish Geocache Series.  Its a spin off of my multi species fishing expeditions of the Covid era.  The premise is that I'll catch an odd, unloved fish species somewhere then put "the cache near the catch".  Setting out to catch a specific species is never fool proof, and there are not that many gaps in the map of local geocaches.  But I do have my moments.

Recently my attention wandered over to a body of water....well mostly mud and weeds but there is water there too....called Bullis Pond.  It supposedly is named after a large farm that occupied the area but is now entirely surrounded by commercial development.  At one end is a huge culvert that must channel run off water from an expansive parking lot around the local mall.  This is not good for water quality.  But here's a photo from better days...


Undated but the horse and wagon would seem to put it circa 1900.  And it must be early spring....I see a couple of kids goofing around out on the ice but also see grass growing up.  Oddly my hunt through early maps of the area does not show the pond at all.  Just not remarkable I guess.

Here's the site today,  roughly the same perspective.


I assumed there would be something living in there.  But my initial scouting trip was not encouraging.  Shallow.  Muddy.  Home to turtles and waterfowl.  Indeed, the pond might freeze to the bottom in particularly harsh winters and Lord knows what sort of chemicals run off that giant mall parking lot.  But still....

At least there is zero fishing pressure on this body of water.  In a few minutes I had on the line a mighty specimen that had never in its life seen a hook.  Behold.


Appropriate to Bullis Pond this is a Bullhead.  Specifically a black bullhead.  They tend to have variable color depending on their surroundings but generally are dark brown above and yellow below.  From what I've read they can't actually survive being frozen solid, but just about anything else won't bother them.  These are the cockroaches of the fish world.  Heat, low oxygen, salty run off....meh, no problem.  So an excellent choice for a Strange Fish geocache.  Now what do I have in stock that I can modify?

Bullheads are an odd shape, so most of the things I have lying around won't serve.  But I've done a few earlier Strange Fish using these earbud cases.  In fact I have one that was an earlier prototype for the Creek Chub container.


The color can be changed easily....its adding fins and such that is tricky.  As there will be inner waterproofing as well I decided I could buzz some slits in the top, put in fins and such made of thin polycarbonate, then glue them in with marine cement.  Here's how it looks with brown base layer bullhead paint job.


And with multi-hued bullhead paint.  Remember I'm not going for strict accuracy here.  A geocache should be whimsical, and should be hidden but not impossible to find.


I think the beady little eyes work nicely!  I still have to add "whiskers" and perhaps trim the tail a bit but this should be a worthy entry in the Strange Fish Series.


Monday, June 27, 2022

Tree Shaped Tombstones - Greenhead UK (Cumbria)

Part of my time in the UK was spent near a little hamlet called Greenhead.  There is not much there.  A hotel/pub that has regrettably gone Posh, a nice teashop, and of course a church and churchyard.

Here's a sort of tree form tombstone.  Like its US counterparts these tend to date to 1900 plus or minus a decade.


This was formerly a mining and farming community.  Large families.  Lots of children, lots of infant mortality.  Some of the tombstones give names, ages and sentiments of regrets.  Others such as this one, are rather stark and all the more poignant for it.



Friday, June 24, 2022

Sorta Like a Black Cat Crossing in front of you?

I was out for a walk yesterday and had this guy walk across the road in front of me.  What does it mean?  


Well I'm not particularly superstitious but I do think this is interesting in light of an upcoming appointment with my Investments Guy.  Bear market on the way?

It should be noted that while this is not an especially Large Bear it is a Bear that is Very Near.  

Make of it what you will. 


Wednesday, June 22, 2022

UK 2022 - Lead Mines and Pit Ponies

When overseas on excavating trips I always try to work in little expeditions on days off.  I mean, who really needs to rest and do laundry?  I'm fortunate to have friends of like inclination and we do have some interesting times.

On an "in between" weekend day in May I found myself trekking about with Kate and Bob in the hills near Alston.  The whole area is riddled with old lead mines and it was a fine trip walking the ridges above the River Nent.

There is a lot of interesting history associated with these mines...for me the most fascinating aspect is the 'pit ponies'.  These stumpy little critters spent much of their lives underground hauling pony sized carts of ore and rubble.  The last of them were only retired a few decades back.

Here is what seems to be a pony entrance to a mine complex.  These were usually at the bottom of the hills and went straight to the lower levels.


This one you could peer into a ways.  It seems to have a locked door, and if I have my locations down right it is still visited on occasion by people seeking unusual mineral specimens.  Crystals and such.


Here's a couple more entrances of similar dimensions.  The level of natural or man make blockade varies quite a bit.



There were also upper entrances to the mines.  These were straight shafts down from the higher points.  Men and sometimes ponies would be lowered down with winches.  As these are pretty severe hazards to sheep and cattle the efforts to block these are more deliberate.


A couple centuries of mining has interesting effects on the landscape.  Of course you see areas where mine collapse has caused big depressions in the surface.  Also areas where creeks and the river have been channeled and straightened to aid in ore washing.  But the most dramatic change is all the mine spoil that has been dumped everywhere.  This is not actually all that unsightly, and is fantastic habitat for rabbits.  In the loose dirt they dig bunny mega cities.


There was plenty to see, and a great deal more that calls for further exploration.  Here's a guide to the area that looks quite intriguing.

Signing off from England for another year.....



Monday, June 20, 2022

Growing into their tall shadows

I've been pondering lately the question of how we form our impressions of the world around us.  Once it was straightforward.  You read the newspaper, watch the evening news, talk with the folks at work or around the neighborhood.  Now things are different.  Newspapers are fading away.  Much of the legacy media has reduced credibility and dwindling viewers.  Social media gets a small section of the populace very worked up, but most don't live their lives on Twitter.  In person contacts at work and elsewhere took a big hit from Covid and have not fully recovered.

I'm still thinking on this matter, but I think our actual experiences and observations as we go about our lives are of increased importance.  If the News is horrible and apocalyptic yet the world around you is really quite cheery....there is a disconnect. 

So here are some random glimpses of a recent cheery day.  It might have been last week, or last month or no defined time at all.  Indeed, don't warm summer days go on forever for the very young and the considerably older?

Perfect weather.  A small fish has been caught.


To heck with linear chronology.  This was after the small ones had gone home and the feet had been put up.


More evidence of their presence....a game called Hot Lava had been played.


Baby Birds on their nest.


Baseball Evening.  This level of ball is what is called "Coach Pitch".  But after the ball is hit its all kids involved.  Sometimes the crazy fielding reminds me of a snowball fight.


As the sun gets low in the sky the shadows stretch out tall.  Soon enough they'll grow into them. 



Friday, June 17, 2022

"A Pox Upon You!" - Modern Sensitive Edition.

In the odd news of last week I found this: "Monkeypox to get a new name, says WHO".  Why?  Well it is the usual strange modern sensibilities. 

'It comes after more than 30 scientists wrote last week about the "urgent need for a non-discriminatory and non-stigmatizing" name for the virus and the disease it causes.'

Wikipedia image: credit Carlos Delgado

This of course begs the question of exactly what stigma and potential discrimination is involved.  Presumably the semantic gymnastics here have arrived at the conclusion that Monkeypox will cause offense to the continent of Africa and the inhabitants thereof.  Never mind that monkeys are also found in South and Central America, Asia, a few hanging on at Gibraltar and some colonies of escapees thriving in Florida.  

I don't make light of any disease, but you have to admit that Monkeypox is a funny concept.  I recall David Letterman going on at length about it back when he was entertaining.

But if that is how the World Health Organization wants to play ball then fine.  Did you know that there are lots of other "pox" diseases?  Here's a partial listing with, as necessary, my comments on why they MUST BE CHANGED NOW.

1. Camelpox.  Clearly offensive to various nations and ethnicities in the Middle East.  It must go...even though the only human transmission of the infection occurred in India.

2. Cowpox.  As a citizen of Wisconsin - America's Dairy Land - I am profoundly triggered and offended.  

3.  Goatpox.  Given the initial reports of Monkeypox turning up at STD clinics I'm not goin' there.

4. Horsepox.  A Pox upon My Little Pony?  I'm on board for that one.

5. Raccoonpox.  Masked thieves.  Offensive to the "justice involved" demographic? 

6. Sealpox.  The Inuit People of the Artic rise up in outrage.

7. Sheeppox.  Not goin' there either.

8. Squirrelpox.  Since this is a disease brought in by immigrant grey squirrels that is wiping out native populations of reds squirrels in the UK, any mention of it must be anti-immigrant MAGA disinfo.

9. Skunkpox.  Fine. A species whose reputation can go no lower.

10. Swinepox.  Certainly offensive to the great state of Iowa.

11. Volepox.  If you know what a vole is feel free to comment and raise the battle standard for Vole Rights.  If you have a Voter Rights flag a few bits of duct tape will suffice.

Special Dishonorable Mention number one:  not a specific vector but Lumpy Skin Disease Virus is in the same family.  It is clearly stigmatizing to most of us over 50.

Special Dishonorable Mention number two:  There is an entire subfamily of pox viruses that affect birds.  To keep my screed short I've left these off.  But Canarypox is obviously a dog whistle reference to the Monkeypox outbreak that got well and truly up and running at a wild party on the Canary Islands.  And somehow somebody will take offense at Penguinpox.  

Observant readers will note that I am giving a free pass to a couple of better known pox diseases.  Chickenpox, while perhaps offensive to those with social anxiety disorder, is actually named not for the domestic chickens but for chick peas.  This admirably Vegan legume does look a bit like chickenpox lesions, at least until they hit the oozing and crusting stage.  And Smallpox.  Oh sure quite offensive to Little People but the disease is extinct, no longer found in the wild and known to be held under the tightest security in a single US lab.  Oh, and also one in Russia which should be OK because they have not had a major biolab Ooopsie in roughly fifty years.  Not bad by the standards of geographically unspecified Communist countries....

Here's the CDC's full list of pox virus diseases.  Expect it to be tidied up shortly.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Detritus and Victorian Scandal at Gilsland Spa

For part of my stay in northern England I was outside the village of Gilsland.  It is a community that reminds one of a kid wearing hand me down clothes a couple of sizes too big.  This often happens when early prosperity and popularity wane.  You end up with shops, homes and public spaces grander than a farm based economy would seem to require.  

Usually it is something along the lines of a mine or factory closing down.  But in the case of Gilsland it reflects the fact that people no longer travel to rustic settings to "take the waters".

It is my intent to show rather than describe the history, but in brief here's what happened.  In the  1700's it was noted that there were mineral springs along the scenic River Irthing.  Entrepreneurs established hostelries and upper class folks started coming to promenade the grounds, drink and bath in mineral infused waters, meet like minded folk, etc.  A tiny hamlet nearby was renamed Gilsland and a rail station was established.  (Since discontinued, and they are still steamed about it).  

The spa just north of town had its heyday in the 19th and early 20th century.  As the latter century rolled on an assortment of other functions were also tried.  It was a hospital for servicemen in WW I.  A maternity hospital, presumably for evacuated families, in WW II.  I've heard it was a mental health facility for a while.  

There were ongoing attempts to revive it as a high end spa.  Superficially this makes sense, as people with disposable income still seem inclined towards yoga, crystals, mudpacks, massages and so forth.  But economically it is a white elephant....a huge building that must cost a fortune to heat and cool.  And it was competing in a world where global travel had become cheap and easy.  If you are going to be pampered why not do it in tropical splendor somewhere?

So Gilsland Spa is now closed, in limbo while the latest in a succession of owners tries to find a viable use for it.  

But the grounds are open, and strolling about is actually encouraged.  Come along on a journey of discovery.  Your reward for making it to the end will be an enigmatic bit of salacious Victorian mystery featuring Sir Walter Scott.

The main spa building, May of 2022.  There were earlier structures that have not survived the test of time. 


For those so inclined, and of course that would be me, the sulphur spring is still trickling forth.  The stuff smells like rotten eggs but actually tastes....well also like rotten eggs.


I like the small discoveries.  The original pipe would have been metal and would have caked up with gunk all the time.  The new one is plastic.  See also the stone font suggesting a latter day renovation.  Somewhere up the slope is another spring this one of iron containing "Chalybete" waters.  I should have done a bit more research in advance of my trip, a taste comparison would be in order.


Very pretty paths and a view of the river.  You could once sit and contemplate.  The remaining ghosts who still do so probably find this bench to be just fine, thanks.


Near the river I came across this....the ruins of a big swimming pool.  I assume it was for bathing in the "waters".  I was also doing a bit of geocaching and I'm pleased to report that a cache was hidden in here.


This seems to be some sort of pump house designed to bring water up to the main hotel on the ridge above.  Oddly it is not close to the mineral springs but to the river.  Maybe plain old river water is healthy too.


OK, lets get right to it.  The most interesting spot on the grounds of the Gilsland Spa is the Popping Stone.  Supposedly this is a particularly romantic spot where Victorian era gents would take the objects of their affections and sit them down on the stone....then propose marriage.  Most famously this was done by Sir Walter Scott, in 1797, long before he was a literary figure. 


There is actually a lot more to the story, and I refer you to this excellent source for a comprehensive discussion.   Basically the "Popping Stone" became famous by obscure means.  The story of Walter Scott's successful Proposal did not come to light until long after the event.  Indeed, the Popping Stone is not alluded to until 1841 or specifically named in print until the 1860s, some 70 years after the future Mrs. Scott said yes.  But is it a complete fiction, made up by hotel proprietors?

Probably not.  It seems likely that the story of the stone built on an unwritten earlier tradition that was a bit saucy for its times.  The key elements being:

1. This spot is not anywhere near the main grounds of the hotel(s).  No, you and your lady friend would be taking a long trek to a very secluded spot.  A spot indeed where it would be nearly impossible for anyone to come upon you unawares.

2. There was also a nearby hawthorn tree of considerable antiquity.  It was called "The Kissing Bush".

3. The Popping stone has undergone various changes over the course of its notoriety.  It is unclear whether its current configuration - two smaller round boulders at the base of a longer, oblong one - has been altered to make it less phallic in its appearance or more so!

Here it is in May of 2022.  I'll let you decide.



All things considered the Popping Stone does seem more like a place where romantically inclined couples might retreat for a decidedly non Victorian tryst.  After being helped over numerous high and low spots on the winding riverside trail a maiden of pristine virtue would have had plenty of opportunities to raise questions about their destination.  Then, after a brief stop at the Kissing Bush, the arrival at a scenic, secluded glade featuring a gigantic phallus would have obvious implications.  Oh, I don't doubt plenty of engagements happened on this spot, but how many one wonders were of the "Make an Honest Woman of Her" variety!

As I was traveling solo on this trip - my first day in England actually being our 40th Wedding Anniversary - I felt obligated to attempt a selfie on bended knee with The Popping Stone in the background.  I'm quite sentimental after all.



Monday, June 13, 2022

Man Versus Algorithm - Part 94039

YouTube is part of the All Seeing Eye of the Internet.  Like a predatory Santa it "...knows when you've been sleeping, it knows when you're awake...".  On the internet I strive to not Be Bad.  So it is interesting to see what this Eye of Sauron gleans from my on line life....and what it suggests I might want to see more of.  Here's the list:

Music, Archaeology, Live (again I assume music), Electric Motors, Wilderness, Tools, Model Trains, Robot, Tourist Destination, Mixes, Electrical Engineering, Gaming, Baseball, Basketball, Amber Heard, Trucks, Gardening and Comedies.

When I hit the refresh button a bunch of times the offerings vary slightly.  Music always is number one or two although Mix is sometimes changed to New Age or even Bossa Nova.  Rain, Trails, Consumer Electronics, NBA, Baking, Dogs, Eating and such make tentative appearances.  Amber Heard will not go away.  Videos pertaining to her are like the One Ring that cannot be destroyed.

Well now....

A few of the offerings have some basis in reality.  Robots, Archaeology, Electric Motors, all good stuff.  Some of the others must just be dreck they try to serve up to everyone.  I am for instance a fairly non musical person.  I have zero interest in either Live or Mixed versions of such entertainment.  

A couple are peculiar.  Model trains?  Is anyone really interested in them?  I subscribe to a YouTube channel where a friend of mine makes things out of junk.  I recall he built a little rail line in his back yard.  This must be the slender reed that the TubeBots have grasped.  Likewise I have an interest in baseball but the Internet seems to assume that a carry over interest in basketball must be present.  It is not.

And my interest in Amber Heard is less than zero.  I'd be happier with no perception of her existence or the existence of  beings akin to her.  Including Mr. Depp truth be told.

Boxing...Restaurant "Rescue" shows....Meditation music......Hero Animals.  Back in the early days of the internet I used to salt my profiles with various fake information just to see if I would get ads in Portuguese, spam email from tailors in Denmark, stuff related to Icelandic scrimshaw art.  The only entry on the above list that might still be carrying over would be the Bossa Nova music!  I of course have all "notifications" turned to the OFF setting but another account in the household did not.  Maybe that's where gardening came from.

But it seems to not matter.  My efforts to punk the algorithms seem unnecessary, they autopunk themselves.



Friday, June 10, 2022

Stink Bugs and Samuri

I try hard to bring you news you can use.  So I'm leading with DON'T SQUASH BUGS THAT LOOK LIKE THIS!!

Hey, its a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug.  That makes the above advice pretty straightforward.  But where does the name come from?


I found one of these critters in the house earlier this year.  Or at least something that looked close enough to merit caution.  Out the door it went, into raw cold and rain that I hope dispatched it.

Marmorated....such an odd word.  My mind jumped immediately to The Sea of Marmora.  I mean, didn't yours too?  Huh.  Well I guess that's because it is technically the Sea of Marmara, an extension of the Aegean Sea near Istanbul.  It gets its name from an island in the middle of same, also called Marmara and so called because in Ancient times it was a place where a lot of marble was quarried.

Marble, the stone, gives us marbles....made of stone.  Also marbleized steak.  As our summer grilling season is upon us you'll all benefit from knowing that this means red meat with many streaks of white fat in it....looking a bit like marble.  That would be the stone again.

Marmorated is just another variant indicating a marbled or streaked appearance.

Needless cautionary note.  Marmorated Stink Bugs are not edible with any degree of grilling and basting.   

Needless cautionary note two - perhaps a bit late.  These bugs are enough of an invasive pest that there was some thought of introducing their main predator to control them.  While the USDA was studying the feasibility and safety of bringing in the Samuri Wasp it was discovered that populations of same had already snuck in to the US somehow.  I'm sure it will all turn out well in the end.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Travel Suggestions for the Hadrian's Wall area


When I first visited Northumbria about 15 years ago it was primarily because I had this odd idea of walking clear across England.  I probably would not have taken it much further if not for the fact that the Romans had also noticed long ago that this was a narrow section and so decided to fortify it with Hadrian's Wall.  Dangle something tempting in front of me and I'll likely grab at it, so spring time in beautiful England, a chance to do refreshing walking and of course, lots of Roman stuff.  Off I went.

Here's a list of suggestions for people interested in visiting the area.  As with all such lists I caution that things can change.  I'm mainly going to focus on the central part of the Wall country as this is the best preserved section.

1. Old Roman Stuff to See.   Well for me the ongoing draw is Vindolanda.  It is a fabulous site to visit casually.  Lots to see above ground, you can watch the excavators at work, the on site museum is very well done.  Only one request:  if you get a notion to come excavate personally stay clear of April and May.  That's when I like to sign up and the competition for spots is fierce!  There are of course many other sites worth a look, and the Wall proper merits a bit of casual strolling even for the automobile based tourist.  But Vindolanda is the best.

If you do opt for a bit of walking most accommodations will help you with baggage transfer and such.

2. Places to stay and eat. 

Bowes Hotel in Bardon Mill. Nice people, excellent food, comfortable rooms.  Not a big place, if you are going to eat there you'll need to make a reservation to be sure of a table.  Best Steak Pie I've ever eaten, also very good curry dishes.

Mile Castle Inn near Haltwhistle.  Another small, cozy pub with good food.  You can stay there as well but I've never done so.  The food and drink has been consistently good through several ownership changes.

A place just opening near Hexham is worth a mention as I know the proud new pub keeper.  Queen's Head in the small village of Great Whittington.  David has a long track record in the industry and will do things up right.

In Haltwhistle, The Black Bull is a nice traditional pub.  

And as a place to stay Hadrian's Holidays near Greenhead has very comfortable "pods" that have all the real essentials....hot water showers and perhaps the most comfortable bed I've slept in while in the UK.  Oh, and there's a castle ruin right down the street.  Walkers in particular need to be fed and watered.  The best pub locally is The Sampson, although I have this more on the basis of high praise than recent experience.  There are also two carryout Fish and Chips shops a couple of miles away....said to have portions suggesting small whales rather than cod and haddock.

3. Things to do other than/in addition to walking the Wall path.

Hexham has a fun "car boot sale" on Sunday mornings.  At least in Spring/summer/fall.  It has a decided old time flea market feel to it and has lots of curious British stuff for sale.  Regular readers may already know that I've been less than "chuffed" as the Hadrian's Wall area has gone to more upscale tourism.  But if a person was interested in say, Stargazing, the Twice Brewed Inn has been emphasizing this.  Biking seems to be increasing in popularity, just be careful when selecting your routes, as traffic is problematic on the bigger roads.  

And of course I'd be up for any specific questions....see the contact email and feel free to ask.

Monday, June 6, 2022

UK 2022 - Signs of the Times

When you are traveling far from home you pay close attention to the signs.  You're looking for a little help.  Sometimes you just get more confused.

So many things to worry about.  Aggressive cows is not on my usual list.


This sign seems to be serious.  I wonder what the previous version said?  Nice tree though.


Sometimes they seem to belabor the obvious.  Assuming you got the part about the roof being fragile the DANGER and Keep Out parts follow logically.  On the other hand the graphic that seems to indicate the surface of the roof contains land mines does give you something to ponder.

Your dog can scare or harm farm animals.  Rather makes it sound like something he should aspire to.


Mysterious metal doors set into streets always intrigue me.  Seems like there must be something really dangerous down there.  Squint closely and read what it is!

Seen by a roadside.  A fine line up of signs culminating in a real puzzler!


Cat's Eyes as it happens are reflective markers that pop down when driven over and pop back up again when cars pass over them.