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Monday, 30 July 2012

Smart (?) phones.

Ok y'all, who has one of these so called smart phones?  I had a Blackberry, which had its little problems (like failing to ring, not giving me a 'reply' option on emails, freezing during text messaging and a couple more things) but I grew to like it, very much.  For some reason though I just didn't get around to taking it to a shop to have it fixed while it was within contract.  So a couple of weeks ago, I was passing a phone shop and decided to pop in to see what my options were for an upgrade.  Upon crossing the shop threshold I stated "I AM NOT BUYING ANYTHING".  After about 4hrs in the shop (including a lunch break to consider the options) I ended up with a Samsung Galaxy 2. I umm'ed and ahhh'ed over an iPhone or HTC or new Blackberry, but I was lured by the swish 8mp camera and the all singing all dancing properties of what I later found out, was a truly 'awesome' phone.  Hmmmm.  Well I've had a few issues to say the least, the biggest problem is the battery life.  I need my phone for maps when I'm out at work, calls and emails and texts and a bit of light surfing.  I also need a phone that I don't have to leave on charge all the time!

So, bloggers, I need your opinions.  What sort of smart phone do you have and how do you rate it in the real world - what sort of battery life do you get if you're using it as intended (I have to switch GPS off between looking for addresses, and turn wifi off when I leave the house so that its not wasting battery hunting for connections).  I've been told I can have a new phone, any make or model on the same contract but sadly I can't have a Blackberry on this partikklar deal.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Cubbie's off the hook!

Phew, that was close. I had removed Cubbie's headlight glass, and started to remove the front mudguard, but only got as far as taking the bolts out of the stays before remembering that due to the poor design of the thing, the whole wheel has to come out first. Then I gave it a break and whilst making enquiries about the bits I would have to buy to convert Cubbie, a road going T20 Tiger Cub, into a mud eating, rock climbing trials machine, I was offered the use of a proper trials Cub. Yippeeee!!

 Now the Bultaco project, that's coming on well. I thought it was about three years ago, but the date on the photos from the engine rebuild tell me that it had a new big end, new crank seals and bearings and new piston rings and a few other bits, all carried out by Captain Bill, five and a half years ago! Blimey. That surely cannot be right. So I wouldn't have been surprised if it had never gone again, after all those years of neglect, but last weekend, the Terrified Terror Test Pilot, aka the Bulto Test Pilot, kindly fitted the new rear tyre that had been in storage in the front room for, um, a few years, whilst complaining bitterly that no way could it be the right size as it just would not go on the rim. I could see his point. When he did finally manage to get it on, he had that heart sinking realisation that he had nipped the tube. Oh darn, was not quite what he said, but luckily Mrs BC and I were administering medical aid to a ram who had cut his ear, so we didn't hear all the colourful words issuing from the shed. Take two, and he got the old tube fitted and the new tyre on successfully. With the wiring sorted and the kill switch fitted again (had a nasty experience once when the throttle stuck open and I was tearing down a tree covered hillside and unable to stop. So I jumped off the bike, very James Bondy, and let it come to a natural halt at the bottom. A friend then fitted a kill switch for me. Which in later years, I 'borrowed' as a dip switch for Cubbie for an MoT, just temporary, like, until I got a proper switch for Cubbie at a show this year) and the next thing we heard was the beautiful sound of a two stroke crackling and snarling, followed by gasping for breath and pleas for a cup of coffee. Bravo. The Bulto is a bit awkward to kick over if you're not used to having the kick start on the left, so we tied the footrest up to the frame to make life easier, and mucked about with the carb for a bit to see if it would fire up a bit more willingly. It starts from hot really well but not so good from cold - perhaps those crank seals have suffered after 6 years of not being used.

 Now that the new front tyre has arrived, along with a replacement front wheel nut (always advisable to fix the wheel on properly) and a new spark plug cap (Cubbie had to donate its one to the cause, so therefore, Cubbie can have the new one!) we should be able to get the Terrified Terror / Equally Terrified Bulto Test Pilot on board for his first ever trials bike riding experience, and then in a couple of weeks its off to the Mick Andrews Trials Training Day....

 PS, is anyone else having trouble with Facebook? I can't get on using my new 'awesome' Galaxy-tip-top-tiddley-pooh-phone, as it says there is not a mobile site available, and when I try to log in on my computer it just tries to sell me advertising. Finally got in through Googling GBC on FB and it seems I don't have a newsfeed page, I've got a wall but can't write anything on it.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Poor Cubbie...

If only Cubbie knew what I'm planning, it would probably sneak out of the shed and hide in the woods for at least the next 3 weeks. I've only gone and booked myself and the Terrified Terror Test Pilot in for the Mick Andrews Trials Training Day, and neither of us have a working trials bike. So, the plan is this....finish assembling my Bulto (just a wheel nut and some cables required, I think, I hope) and then get it running so that the TTTP can ride that, and then take one road going Tiger Cub and strip the lights off it, swap the petrol tank for an ally one that someone has been going to send me for the last two years, get a spare pair of wheels and fit some knobblies to them (that way I shouldn't have to worry about not having the wider swingarm on Cubbie), maybe fit the heavy duty forks that are already in the shed, fit the bash plate that Scott the Cub Man sent me a while back, maybe try and put the high level zorst on so that Cubbie's immaculate low level one doesn't get bashed to bits when I fall off, oh, and get a trials seat from somewhere. And possibly if one turns up, a smaller, more sleek oil tank could go on and what do you think, should I invest in a pair of hefty shocks? The ones on there are from the 70's and I will be building a proper trials Cub in the future and they could then go on there... Anyone got a spare trials seat....oil tank....wide swing arm (for the future project) some decent second hand trials shocks....trials handlebars...and anything else that might come in handy for a trials Cub project....?

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Issue 2 July 2012

The production of Issue 2 was seriously halted last week, when, just as I was putting the finishing touches to the layout, adding a few more pics and juggling the text about to make it all fit, my computer threw a very big wobbly. It was a meltdown. It had run out of memory and refused to play. The biggest problem was that it wouldn't even let me continue to edit or alter the contents in any way. To cut a long story short, after managing to save a copy to a disc and then putting it in a friends laptop, which still didn't work, I ended up spending 4.5hrs at a friend's house in Aberdeen, which included a visit to her place of work, to try and come up with a solution. It was only as I was leaving at nearly 11pm that she had a brain wave - find a previous version of the file that had been auto-saved and work from there! Well, I got home at about half past midnight, after doing the weekly shop (24hr supermarkets, they'll never catch on) and set about hunting for the auto-save file location. Found it. Managed to open a version of Issue 2 that was about 24hrs before the finished version. The next morning, Thursday, I had to break the file into chunks that the computer could handle, and then finish editing and laying it out. Printing commenced way too late in the day, about 3pm I think (after I had helped Mrs BC catch and worm some lambs) and it was only at midnight that we had enough copies stapled, folded and ready for Mallory Park and our trip to the Festival of 1000 Bikes. And that's a whole other story.... So please give me a few days while I get some more printed and then Issue 2 of the Cub Mag will be posted out to all 116 subscribers.


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