CallMeAlan

Yes, as it says above, this is CallMeAlan.uk, the personal website of a guy called, perhaps somewhat unsurprisingly, Alan.

alansworld {at} [gmail.com] will find me, should you care to discuss anything I've written about. I welcome any feedback.



I am a Taphophile

Let's talk about my incurable chronic mental aberration, taphophilia, and have a look at some pictures which explain the condition. Hint: a taphophile is a grave hunter and photographer. If you don't need to read about my taphophilia you can hop straight over to
My catalog of grave photography albums

This is an extra album: The Parched Cemetery Pictures of a cemetery baking in the drought and heat


All About Photography




§   Sterling Cables: A piece of Newbury History
This is my look at a piece of Newbury history - an illustrated look at the old Sterling Cables site, which featured the derelict cable building, once the tallest building/eyesore in the town, now demolished.

UPDATE: I have added 16 new pictures, showing how the site looks in April 2024.

§   Greenham Common
This is a series of my photograph albums about Greenham Common, near Newbury, Berkshire, in central south England. I live in Newbury, and the Common is where I'm often to be found, invariably with one or more of my cameras slung around my neck. It's a wonderful and often quite surprising place, and my intention here is to give you a flavour of what it was, by looking at how it looks today.
Greenham Common used to be an American nuclear airbase, until that closed, roughly at the same time as the Cold War was called off, and they ripped it up with big yellow tractors and things. But they left behind many many enticing clues and photogenic reminders of its past. So this is my acknowledgment and thanks to those who, when ripping up the former airbase, left us those reminders of what it was.

§   Greenham Common from a Drone
A series of DJI Mini drone photographs, showing some features of Greenham Common from above.






Thoughts, Comments, Opinions



Donald Trump:- why? What on earth do you Yanks see in this deeply unpleasant and repulsive orange criminal, and why do you keep voting for it? It's a further example of why I detest you Yanks. For the love of God, PLEASE don't make it president again. (And as a matter of interest, the word "trump" is a somewhat archaic synonym for "fart" in England.)


A face only a mother could love, a criminal

The US Presidential Election So here we are, the second week of March 2024, and it now looks like two presidential hopefuls remain in the running: the deeply and extraordinarily unpleasant criminal Trump (a criminal - did I already say that?), and the bumbling stumbling old fool Biden. What the hell is the matter with you Yanks? How could you possibly find yourselves with only these two idiots in the running? On the one hand we have the Orange Turd, (a proven criminal), and on the other hand an old man who should be at home with his feet up reading an easy large-type book; a man who cannot even handle the reasonably simple task of training a dog (his dog has bitten White House staff 26 times). How can you contemplate voting either of these awful creatures (one of whom, the orange criminal, is a criminal) into arguably the most powerful position in the world - a 77 year old criminal and an 81 year old? Words fail me.

GUILTY!!!!!
On all counts!
GOOD!!!!!
Deservedly so!
Rot in prison!!!



So my old 27" iMac, faithful servant for almost ten years, had started to make strange crackling noises from somewhere deep inside, and I thought, hello, this old guy is on its way out! So two weeks ago I received my brand new 24" iMac M3, purple. I went for the 10-core GPU, as opposed to 8-Core, complete with Magic Mouse and Magic keyboard. (The Magic Mouse has gone straight into the drawer as I hated it, and installed a wired traditional mouse.) Wow! First off, I really do not see much difference in screen sizes, and don't regret the loss of three inches. But the speed!! I had prepared a few tests before it arrived, in particular an export of a handful of clips from Final Cut and timed the export at 7 seconds. New iMac: two and a half seconds! Rendering of edited clips is almost instantaneous. In RAW photo development software (always searching for the best) various applications which I had previously dismissed as just too slow, I'm now re-testing and I'm staggered by the speed of export (apart from Luminar, which is still too slow.) I've discovered the very nice Pixelmator, which exports in milliseconds. This has been a good move! Love it.



Your parcel cannot be delivered ... etc April 2024: For maybe the last 3 or 4 months I've been receiving countless emails advising me that my parcel was unable to be delivered, due to wrong address, nobody home to sign, etc, etc. I estimate that right now, March 2024, I probably have about 500 parcels awaiting my collection or delivery. Of course, these emails are pure spam. Fortunately Gmail recognises them as spam and dumps them into my spam folder, where I can review and delete them. It seems that people like UPS, DPD and Amazon, to name but a few, are holding my parcels. My question is: why are these mindless morons, imbeciles, idiots and cretins, squatting in the gutters of Calcutta, Bucharest or Beijing or somewhere, still sending them after such a long time? Surely they have already realised that, the scam having gone on for months, recipients cannot possibly believe them? And who, for heaven's sake, clicks on a link in a (usually very ungrammatical) email?

Now, in May 2024, while the parcel stuff continues, the latest is women - hundreds of them - claiming to have seen my profile (what profile?) and offering me their bodies. What next?? Ladies - I'm not in the least interested in meeting make-believe sluts, get it?



Yanks eating:- Why do you Yanks take the knife and fork in right and left hands respectively, cut off a piece of steak, then put down the knife, swap hands with the fork, and eat the piece of meat right-handed? Then repeat the whole routine? Are you quite so unable to use your left hand?? Here in the UK I suspect we are closer to ambidexterity than you lot. (Personally, i am completely ambidextrous, which is possibly why I sneer when seeing your strange eating habits.)




Ebay Silliness Recently I needed to sell something I didn't need. Brand new, surplus to my requirements, should be worth at least 50 pounds, I thought. So I listed it as I normally would and sat back to wait for 7 days until the end of the auction. Blow me down - an email arrived not half an hour later saying it had sold - for the silly little minimum starting price of about 4 pounds. Why? Turns out that the listing said "'til it sells". And sell it did - instantly. How very silly - Ebay lost out on commission and I lost out on my earnings. What happened to the usual 7 day auction? God knows.



Ronnie O'Sullivan The snooker player Ronnie O'Sullivan is almost certainly the best snooker player the world has ever seen. He will invariably win just every tournament he enters, and is highly respected in the word of snooker. This month, April 2024, sees the World Championships, the ultimate tournament in the calendar, lasting 17 days. It started on a Saturday, but O'Sullivan wasn't due to play until the Wednesday, then played again on the Thursday.

This player is, as I say, highly respected and even deeply beloved by many fans of the sport, many of whom will travel great distances to see him play (win). But, and here we enter the negative, he had clearly not bothered to shave on the Wednesday, and this was worse on the Thursday, with ugly grey/black stubble. Why would such a revered and respected character not take five minutes to have a shave? It makes me wonder if he also couldn't be bothered to take a shower in the morning? Does he, indeed, therefore smell a little? Sorry, but I would have thought that if I was such a great figure in the sport I would take a moment to make myself presentable to my fans. Detestable, and I, for one, detest him for such an attitude.



Classic FM This is a classical music broadcaster in the UK. I usually have it on while I'm at the computer or just pottering about - but I can't bear it. It's a commercial station, so there are ads every so often. Why can't I bear it?

1: Alexander Armstrong. This creature broadcasts every weekday from 10am to 1pm. He thinks he's funny, but isn't. But the important thing is he's overexposed: 6 days a week on Classic FM (he does a Saturday spot as well); 5 evenings a week on TV presenting a game show (sometimes 6, if there's a "celebrity" special on Saturdays). To boot, he also does advert voiceovers on various outlets. Duh, hate, hate.

2: The Hall of Fame Hour: at various points during the broadcast schedule they offer this. It's a selection of pieces from the top 300 pieces as voted for by their listeners. Top 300? I doubt there's more than 300 pieces in their entire repertoir, so it's all smoke and mirrors. One or two of these "favourites" stand out in particular - The Queen of Sheba seems to arrive roughly hourly, often closely accompanied by other sugary sweet works such as Zadok the Priest. Then there's that extraordinary tiresome and completely ridiculous Walking the Dog (who seems to get walked before his bladder can possibly need it).



Snail Racing In an effort to make my racing snail, Uslime Bolt, go even faster I removed its shell. But that just made it more sluggish.