Sunday, 14 July 2013

SOD BOB, IT'S DOUG THE BUILDER...

....of sorts. My Friday was full of chores around the house, plumb in a new sink, new washing machine and an outside tap. My ol' mucker Ben the Plumber must have taught me something right as I managed it all on Friday and not a leak anywhere (except the ones in my vegetable patch), well chuffed and earned some "bonus" points with the missus. I also had to "re-build my last 1.4 teleconverter and see if it was working ok. I needed time, I wasn't going to rush it, exploded diagram in hand I set about dismantling the converter, the greyhound and in particular the hairy Australian Shepherds (not sure what one is check out "My Canine Friends" gallery at the top of the blog) were banished, phone off I set to work. It didn't look good, bits of plastic dropping out and a screw! Hmmm, not good. So I got the old converter and took that apart and cannibalised it for parts that were still working. After a couple of hours of tinkering I managed to get it all screwed together, took a lens cloth and gave it a clean, attached it to the camera body and ol'faithful (500mm), switched the camera on....the LCD screen read f/5.6 part one of three completed and working.
 So part 2 was a simple task stand with the camera and pretend to take flight shots, "whirl" around like I was tracking a bird in flight, yep I looked a right plonker, but still the aperture was reading f/5.6, so far so good.
Part 3 was to actually take some images and make sure the images were still sharp and the damage and subsequent repair job hadn't made it go soft. I didn't want to risk spending hours in the field, take a whole load if images only to see image after image being soft, so I needed somewhere close by with birds a plenty, grab some images and get home and check the images out.
Off to the Billing Aquadrome, plenty of Geese,Mallards,Gulls,Coots,Grebes and Terns to aim at. I managed a few Tern shots and a Green Woodpecker, which really tested the converter with it's undulating flight. The converter was solid and the lens did move in it's mounting, result.
Got home checked the images and apart from a few out of focus shots (normal) it appears to be ok, maybe a bit soft, but that could be all in the head if you know what I mean.
See Bob the Builder couldn't have done that!!
Sadly I had no time this weekend for proper birding, apart from standing in the garden and photographing the Swifts over my house. I'm on "deathwatch" my eldest Greyhound, Buggsy, appears to be dying, he's losing a lot of weight and constantly going to the toilet and on Friday, blood started to appear, it's his liver. Sadly and disgracefully racing greyhounds are doped up with drugs not only to make them run faster, but also slower, yet Buggsy is 16 (had him for 14 years), has "out-lived" his sister of which I had both, he wasn't in pain this weekend but I'm off to the vets with him on Monday, to see what they recommend, though I feel it might be his time. It's not sad to be honest, when I got him and his sister from Woodgreen, they were shunned by people looking for "cute" dogs and were skinny as a rake. We got both of them and have had a great time with the pair, Buggsy nicking bread (he loves the stuff the freak), an Xmas Turkey, a beef joint just some of the things the bugger nicked (see why he's called Buggsy?), fourteen years of pure laughter, which given the state of the pair when we got them is quite a long time. Also thanks to Buggsy and his sister Katie I've always owned Greyhounds and can't ever see me not having one they're truly great pets, they're one dog breed I never worry about when a young kid comes up to say "hello", brilliant nature...just don't leave food laying around.
Sadly on Tuesday I'm on "nights" out in the truck so might not be able to get near a wifi connection so I shall be a bit "quiet", until at least Friday. 

10 comments:

  1. The Tern is a real beauty.....You had a productive weekend.
    It's never a good time when dogs die. Greyhounds are gentle creatures. They do chase things though.

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    1. Cheers Adrian, yeah Greyhounds do chase things..but only if trained at a young age to do so, for example Jim and Buggsy my two eldest Greyhounds will chase squirrels/cats etc but my pup Mack doesn't because he wasn't trained to do so, I've seen people with small dogs pick them up and walk away when they see my greyhound, yet my mum shows Japanese Chins (very small dogs) and my greyhounds will allow them to climb all over them, run around and they're fine with it, it's all about who's at the end of the lead.

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  2. Really impressed by these flight shots, Doug. Brilliant!

    Also impressed by your handyman skills!

    So sorry to hear about Buggsy. Never been a dog owner but, as a cat owner, I know what it's like to lose a good friend. I hope that, if it is his time, he has a peaceful and comfortable departure. My thoughts are with you. Richard

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    1. Thanks Richard, my handyman skills are dubious I'm just waiting for that bloke and pretty blonde from Cowboy Builders to turn up:)
      Buggsy departure will be peaceful etc just waiting for the vets appointment.

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  3. When it's their time, an owner should always do what is best for their animal, no matter how hard it is. We know this only too well. So sorry to hear you will be losing a friend. It makes it easier remembering all the good times. Thoughts with you and Buggsy

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    1. Thanks Lou, to be honest I'm "happy" about Buggsy's demise, he was very old and not many UK or Irish greyhounds can boast that, a well looked after one can live long a life, but there are thousands of racing greyhounds (which Buggsy was) that just "vanish", Ol'Bugs had the best life at my house and will be missed.

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  4. Well done Bob...er?...Doug (or should that be Jack?) can he fix it?..yes he did! Looks like you had a good day? those images are stunners.

    Sorry to hear about poor Buggsy, at least you're comforted to know that, unlike some, he had a long and happy 'retirement'.

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    1. Thanks Trevor, very true about Buggsy, I sent an email to the animal shelter that had Buggsy and his sister, and they were surprised at how old he had lived to which cheered me up...though they did ask if I wanted another one:) Not for now.

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  5. The woody in flight,oh so brilliant Doug.

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