Husband, father, geek.

by Chris Pearson

I Still Have An "Ancient" Mac Book Pro

Source: Why the 2012 non-Retina MacBook Pro still sells

Despite the low-resolution screen, slow hard drives, very little RAM, and CPUs that were middling even in 2012, it’s an open secret among Apple employees that the “101” still sells surprisingly well — to a nearly tragic degree, given its age and mediocrity.

Marco Arment (2016)

In the Apple tech press people have recently been rather mean about my laptop. Actually I have 2 as I got one for my wife too. The laptop in question is the old style 13” MacBook Pro pre retina.

I got both these laptops at the base spec in late 2012 early 2013 ish. I can’t remember what that means CPU wise but it shipped with 8GB of RAM, I think anyway, and a 500GB 5200rpm platter hard disk.

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Joining The Plus club

I hate to say it but #mykewasright.

Ever since Apple announced the iPhone 6 Plus back in 2014 I’ve been saying it’s too big and I’d never buy one. But here I am with a 6S Plus and I love it.

Okay, this is old news now. The plus sized phone is 18 months old and now in to it’s S generation. But like many normal people I’m on a 24 month upgrade cycle and have only just managed to upgrade.

I’ll spare the world yet another review but offer this: try it, you might just like it. The battery life is great1 and the extra screen space works well in so many apps.

One more thing, I have always been a big fan of Apple’s leather cases and have them, in black, for both my 5S, iPad Air 2 and now my 6S Plus. On the older two the leather was soft and grippy out of the box. However on this new 6S Plus case the leather is harder and less grippy. My wife went with the silicone case and having tried hers I think I went with the wrong case. A £40 mistake that I will just have to live with for a while, Apple cases aren’t cheap.

  1. I’m getting 2 whole days and overnight at the moment, but now I’m back at work I am expecting GPS use to butcher that. 

A Long Time Ago...

Many years ago I used to work for a large theme park outside of London each summer. At the end of each season they would have a big black tie ball to say thank you to the staff and everyone would have a few drinks and a good time.

Each year there would be a theme and one always stands out to me. As we approached the park gates 4 figures that would be familiar to anyone were waiting to greet us. Darth Vader with 3 Storm Troopers stood guarding the gate.

At the time I knew little about this but in the years since, I’ve come to learn they would almost certainly been members of the 501st Legion, a costuming group dedicated to the dark side Star Wars characters. Ever since I discovered it’s existence I knew this was something I wanted to do.

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The One About Watches

I’ve had my watch for a long time. I can’t remember exactly when I got it but it was bought using money I was given by my grandmother, I’d estimate I’ve had it about 12 years. It’s made by the respected Swiss brand Tissot and I’ve worn it more or less every day since I bought it.

But in April 2014 Apple changed everything. Watching the announcement of Apple Watch my interest was piqued. Something I’ve not been able to shake since.

We are now 6 months after its release and I find my self rationalising a purchase at least once a week. Occasionally I handle one in my local Apple Store and twirl the Digital Crown or try a force touch.

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Sorry Casey, I Bottled It...

It started with a brief twitter conversation about writing a blog and developing in the newest hip language that the cooler kids where using. Node.js if you’re interested, I can tell you are. After a brief exchange I resolved to write my own blog engine.

It was called Hex and it even rendered out posts. Then I had to index the posts from disk and decided to try object oriented JavaScript which is when it all went wrong, this I hate you. Combine this with my then 12 month old twins discovering how their legs worked and the project was canned.

Fast forward 5 months and I am ready to give things a second go. However as the title suggests I bottled it. Rather than home rolling my own engine I’ve used Jekyll. I went with this option as it’s simple but I remain in control. It also allows me to use Github Pages as my host for free and so saves me £3 a month. Maybe I’ll finally get backblaze with the money.

So here we are, I’ve done it. Maybe people will read this, maybe they won’t. I’ll never know as I’ve not added analytics to this page. This is about the journey.

Flood Damage To The Local River

For while now one of the species that I’ve been meaning to do more about has been the Kingfisher. I’ve bought a book on them, unread, and made a list of spots where Kingfishers have been reported and thought about the images I want. But primarily I just want to see one. I’ve not seen once since I was young on a trip to a restaurant in Yorkshire where one was flying up and down outside.

This weekend I decided to do something about it and visit one of the locations on my list, the bird hide at RHS Wisley Gardens in Surrey. Built in 2010 blog posts talked of a lush river side hide and a fantastically built hide to watch the wildlife, and Kingfisher, from. It seems time has changed things a touch.

A robin sits on a vine covered stree opposite the bird hide at RHS Wisley Gardens

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2013 In Review

I’ve been in two minds about as to write this post, as with last year it has proven to be a rather mixed year and rather sparse photography wise.  As I mentioned at the end of the year started of with several hospital trips for my health, and it turns out it ended that way also.  Not for my health however, it transpired that we are expecting twins in the new year!

The year started slow as I wasn’t allowed out unsupervised until I was cleared by my consultant.  Once this had happened I began making regular visits to the local Surrey Wildlife Trust reserve and began following a small herd of roe deer that frequented the fields.

A roe deer doe feeds on a wooded area between a river fork

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Bushy Park Rut 2013 - Video Clip

I have made a short clip of the rut in Bushy Park from the other week. This is my first effort with video, there’s so much to learn!  The sound is probably the biggest issue but I would need an external mic to do any better really.

Pretty happy with the quality from the D7000 and I edited in the new iMovie.  Whilst this doesn’t offer buckets of control there’s enough there to string a few clips together and to adjust the exposure down a touch.  The interface is much cleaner than the last version of iMovie and I now find it usable.  Some of the pre planned effects and transitions are a bit cheesy so I’ve tried to stick to fairly simple fades and clean titles.

Bushy Park Rut 2013

Last week I was able to get out to visit this years rut.  Originally I planned to visit Richmond Park this year but changed my mind to stick with Bushy Park as in previous years as it’s closer and I know my way around.  Richmond will have to wait for another year when I can find a guide to go with!

I started with a visit on a Sunday afternoon in the rain.  I hoped to get some moody slow shutter images of the rut in action but the rain stopped as I arrived and it just left everything looking flat and boring.  The plus side was this trip showed I wouldn’t need the TC’s for my next visit but I’d take them anyway.

On the Wednesday of last week I got up at o’dark thirty to ensure I arrived before dawn to try make the best of the golden morning light.  Sadly I couldn’t make much of this due to the placement of the deer and the cloud cover but I did take a few nice images.

Stag at dawn

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